Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Ltd. (“MMHK”) has been commissioned by the Ocean Park Corporation, to undertake the Environmental Team (ET) services to carry out environmental monitoring and audit (EM&A) for the operation phase of Ocean Park Tai Shue Wan Water World (the Project).
This is the 1st Monthly EM&A Report for the operation phase of the Project summarising the findings on EM&A during the period from 1 to 30 November 2021, and is submitted under the Environmental Permit (No. EP-487/2014/A).
Environmental Monitoring and Audit Progress
A summary of the operation phase monitoring activities during the reporting period is listed as below:
● Monitoring of the Ecological Enhancement Area (monthly): 26 November 2021
● Landscape and visual monitoring (bi-monthly): 26 November 2021
On 27 August 2014, the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Manual (Register No.: AEIAR-184/2014) for the “Tai Shue Wan Development at Ocean Park” (the Project) was approved and an Environmental Permit (EP) (Permit No.: EP-487/2014) was issued to the Ocean Park Corporation (Project Proponent). Based on the Application for Variation of Environmental Permit No. VEP-539/2017, the current valid EP (Permit No.: EP-487/2014/A) was issued on 10 January 2018. The location and layout of the Project are presented in Appendix A.
Upon the completion of construction of the Project in May 2021 and the approved termination of construction phase EM&A programme in July 2021, the Water World opened on 21 September 2021. Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Ltd. (“MMHK”) has been commissioned by the Project Proponent to undertake the Environmental Team (ET) services to carry out operation phase EM&A for the Ocean Park Tai Shue Wan Water World Project.
Under the requirements of Section 3 of EP and the EM&A Manual, environmental monitoring of ecology, landscape and visual are required for one year during operation phase. This is the 1st Operation Phase Monthly EM&A Report summarising the monitoring results for the Project during the Reporting Period from 1 to 30 November 2021.
The project organisation and the contacts of key personnel of the Project are shown in Appendix B.
The current monitoring is under the operation phase of the Project with all construction activities completed, thus there were no construction works involved.
Monitoring of ecological enhancement area was conducted with a monitoring programme for once per month for 12 months during operation phase.
Landscape and visual monitoring was conducted with a monitoring programme for once in bi-monthly intervals throughout the 12-month establishment period in operation phase.
Submissions required under the EP that were approved by the EPD and deposited to the EIA Ordinance Register Office are as listed below:
● Detailed Vegetation Survey Report
● Woodland Compensation Plan
● Ardeid Inspection Report
● Short-nosed Fruit Bat Inspection Report
● Baseline Monitoring Report
● Ecological Enhancement Plan
● Visual and Landscape Plan
● Detailed Design Report for the Sewerage Facilities
● Noise Audit Report
As required under the Section 184.108.40.206 of the approved EM&A Manual and the approved Ecological Enhancement Plan under EP Condition 2.8, the Ecological Enhancement Area (EEA) should be monitored monthly after establishment, for one year during operation phase to check the effectiveness of the setting.
Direct observation and counting of ardeids was made from a vantage point (i.e., point count method) at the evening time from an hour before sunset, and last until the nightfall. Before conducting point count survey, the EEA was also inspected and searched for any ardeids, other birds or faunal groups utilising the habitat. Any aggregation of night roosting ardeids in the EEA or adjacent area would be located, and the ardeid species would be identified and counted throughout the monitoring. Moreover, day roost of Black-crowned Night Heron in the EEA or adjacent area would also be recorded if any.
Monitoring of the EEA was undertaken on 26 November 2021. The EEA was inspected, but no ardeids or day roost of Black-crowned Night Heron were found in the EEA. Field signs i.e. diggings left by wild boars were observed next to the pond within the EAA as represented in Figure 2.1 below. Individuals of Black Kite (Milvus migrans) were observed soaring over the area.
Figure 2.1 Diggings left by wild boars within the EEA
Point count survey was conducted covering the period from one hour before sunset until nightfall (16:38 to 18:25). Direct observation was made at the vantage point next to the EEA with an unobstructed view covering the EEA, seawall at Tai Shue Wan, Aberdeen Channel and a portion of the East Lamma Channel. The location of the vantage point is indicated in Appendix C. Throughout the monitoring period, no ardeids were noted roosting within or flying towards the EEA. On the other hand, a few singletons of Little Egret and Great Egret were observed flying pass the Aberdeen Channel towards typhoon shelter, whilst groups of ardeids flying pass the East Lamma Channel from south to north direction were observed distantly. These observations indicated likely that the night roost at Ap Lei Chau was still being used by ardeids, as predicted in the approved EIA Report of the Project.
Landscape and visual mitigation measures for the operation phase are listed in Table 9.2 of the Approved EM&A Manual, while the detailed implementation plans are presented in the approved Visual and Landscape Plan.
According to Section 9.1 of the approved EM&A Manual, a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA), as a member of the ET team, would be responsible for monitoring the implementation of landscape and visual measures during the operation phase.
As required under the Section 9.5 of the approved EM&A Manual, all landscape planting shall be monitored bi-monthly during the first year of the operation phase to ensure proper establishment and its effectiveness as landscape and visual mitigation measures. The scope of the site audit during this 12-month establishment period in operation phase shall include the following:
● All necessary horticultural operations and replacement planting are undertaken throughout the 12-month establishment period to ensure healthy establishment.
Any observation of unsatisfactory horticultural maintenance works, failure of establishment of soft landscape or poor condition of established planting shall be recorded for Ocean Park operator to undertake any necessary actions to improve the conditions of the landscape planting.
In the reporting period, landscape and visual site inspection was conducted on 26 November 2021 with references to recommended mitigation measures provided in Appendix D. The implementation status of the landscape and visual mitigation measures are summarised in Table 3.1. Representative photos showing the implementation of the mitigation measures are presented in Appendix E.
Table 3.1: Landscape and Visual Audit Summary for Operation Phase
Landscape and Visual Mitigation Measures during Operation Phase
OP01 - Sensitive Design and Disposition
The implementation of mitigation measures was checked by ET during the bi-monthly site inspection. Implementation of the measures OP01 to OP05 and most of the OP06 was observed.
Major observations for follow-up include:
· Unexpected tree saplings were observed to grow underneath proposed trees.
· Several trees were observed in poor health condition.
· Tree saplings of invasive species such as Leucaena leucocephala were observed.
It is recommended to monitor closely of weaker trees and practise regular removal of unwanted tree saplings and invasive species to ensure health of the proposed trees.
OP02 - Compensatory Tree Planting
OP03 - Enhancement Planting
OP04 - Green Roofs and Vertical Greening
OP05 - Reprovision of Flamingo Pond
OP06 - Responsive Lighting Design
OP07 - Woodland Compensation
To be fully implemented (pending for update on the Woodland Compensation Plan)
Operation phase EM&A works including the monitoring of the EEA and landscape planting were conducted in accordance with the EM&A Manual during the reporting period.
In this month of monitoring of the EEA, survey was conducted on 26 November 2021 covering the period from one hour before sunset until nightfall. No ardeids were noted roosting in the EEA.
Bi-monthly landscape establishment monitoring was conducted on 26 November 2021. Three observations were made regarding several trees found in poor health condition, unexpected sapling growth found underneath proposed trees and weeds found in green roof areas. The Project Proponent was reminded to review the health conditions of the plants as well as to remove weeds and unwanted saplings to ensure healthy establishment of target species.