Re ECF Project: 2007-08

Project Title: Environmental education on river remediation and ecological restoration: A case study on Shing Mun River and Lam Tsuen River

Applicant: The Hong Kong Baptist University (Dr. K C Cheung)

Total Approved Grant: $149,400

Duration: 01/11/2008 to 30/04/2010

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The main purposes of this project are:

  1. to quantify the sediment concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), metalloid-arsenic (As), and heavy metals including lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and chromium (Cr);
  2. to investigate the fish and benthic macroinvertebrate community structures in relation to different sediment quality;
  3. to provide the communities with an access to environmental knowledge, thus facilitating their understanding of the important roles of conservation and restoration.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
Urbanization and large-scale infrastructural projects in Hong Kong have placed an extraordinarily heavy burden on inland water bodies. Previously some local rivers such as the Shing Mun River were affected due to illegal discharges of effluents from various sources resulting in a habitat with reduced river organisms. From 2001-2006, the government implemented a series of remediation measures on Shing Mun River including bioremediation, dredging and an artificial riverbank. This study addresses the effectiveness of environmental mitigation efforts and provides the communities with an access to environmental knowledge through the process of information exchange on the stream restoration. This project presents an assessment of ecological quality status of Hong Kong rivers based on benthic marcoinvertebrate community, fish community and sediment chemistry. Other ecological indicators, such as Shannon diversity index (H’), Simpson’s Index (Ds) and Jaccard’s Index (J) were also applied and evaluated. The results derived from this project provided information related to the effectiveness of environmental mitigation efforts and the development of teaching materials for environmental education for recovering and maintenance of ecosystem health. For publicity, many project activities were arranged, including visits to secondary schools, technical colleges and universities to discuss with students more thoroughly on the way of knowing the concept of river restoration. School talks, conference seminars were also conducted to strengthen students’ learning of habitat restoration and facilitate public involvement in understanding the improvement works done by the Environmental Protection Department.