Clear The Air Ships Air Pollution Blog Rotating Header Image

March, 2008:

New Water Taxis Clean And Green

Updated on Mar 10, 2008 – SCMPThe nearest craft to a water taxi that we ever had in Hong Kong were the good old walla-wallas. They were noisy and smelly, but provided an essential service in the days before cross-harbour tunnels once the ferries stopped running each night.

I can agree then with Thomas Gebauer (“Water taxi plan is bad news”, March 5) when he writes of smoke-puffing vessels polluting the atmosphere.

However, there is a new breed of water taxi on the waters of Sydney Harbour that is environmentally friendly.

These vessels could well be called water buses, as they can carry 60 to 100 passengers and their power source is solar energy and the wind.

Allan Zeman is criticised for supporting the water taxi concept for access to Ocean Park (“Water taxi plan wins support”, February 29).

Mr Zeman has never picked a dud horse yet, and my bet is he would put his money on this environmentally friendly form of transport. It will surely be a real winner.

Gordon Andreassend, Kowloon

Water Taxi Plan Is Bad News

Updated on Mar 05, 2008 – SCMP
I would like to add to the views of Jon Martin (“Government must act to reduce pollution from pleasure craft”, March 1) on the matter of proposals for “water taxis” to ply the south side of Hong Kong Island (“Water taxi plan wins support”, February 29).

This part of the island is unique, contrasting with the hassle and buzz of the built-up areas like the harbourside and Aberdeen. Tourists are astounded when they see the built-up areas, with the pollution of the roadsides in Central and elsewhere and then experience the tranquillity and beauty of the south side, areas like Deep Water Bay, Middle Bay, Repulse Bay and South Bay.

I can imagine that with a fleet of smoke-puffing water taxis with tourists invading these waters, pollution is guaranteed, and this will have an impact on beaches where people enjoy bathing.

Allan Zeman, the chairman of the Ocean Park, is interested in boosting business for his enterprise, but he should think twice before adding his support to an idea I think will be destructive.

The further build up of Ocean Park and its surroundings with tourist facilities, already adds to the heavy traffic with tourist buses which also go from Ocean Park to Stanley.

We must preserve the uniqueness of the south side of Hong Kong Island.

Thomas Gebauer, Discovery Bay

Government Must Act To Reduce Pollution From Pleasure Craft

Updated on Mar 01, 2008 – SCMPOver the last 10 years the beaches and waterways in the Sai Kung Country Park have witnessed unprecedented growth in the activities of pleasure craft.

What a wonderful resource for those lucky enough to have access.

With this increase, unfortunately, we are witnessing a shocking rise in marine pollution as well.

Many of these otherwise pristine locations are now gasping under raw sewage from the attending boats.

Not only has the number of boats increased, so too has the size, with even ferries from Central and Kowloon bringing thousands of lucky passengers to these Hong Kong jewels.

With this massive pressure being brought to bear I believe it is time to introduce holding tanks for all vessels that have on-board toilets.

With hundreds of tonnes of effluent polluting our beaches from these boats, the jewel is quickly losing its attraction.

With a second pier now under construction in Sai Kung, even more boats can be expected to populate these beaches and waterways.

If we are to save our environment then let the government act swiftly to legislate that all vessels with access to these areas be compliant with holding tanks, and provide suitable facilities ashore to process the contents of these tanks.

A recent memorandum from Sai Kung District Council included the following: “The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) will construct a second public pier in Sai Kung.

“The committee suggested that the `hollow’ design be adopted for the pier in order to reduce the impact on the flow of water in the vicinity.”

I applaud both the district council and CEDD for the environmental concern they are showing regarding the “flow of water”, but seriously, the impact of the second pier and the marine traffic it will generate in this precious area is of a hugely more devastating concern.

Would the Environmental Protection Department care to comment?

Jon Martin, Sai Kung