Show and Tell 5

As we have discussed in class about China affecting the environment in multiple ways, such as carbon emissions and dumping waste into the ocean, today I will be talking about Island building. Island building is created by dredgers, which is a ship that is usually used for deepening maritime canals, but China is using them for “Island Building” and there is an anchor pole in the front that breaks sediment which is then sucked from the seabed and transported through a floating pipe where the sediment is transported onto a reef or a small island.


Examples of Dredging

The article China’s Island-Building Is Ruining Coral Reefs, Philippines Says states, China’s island-building activities have destroyed about 300 acres of coral reefs and are causing “irreversible and widespread damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance” of the South China Sea, a spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. “China has pursued these activities unilaterally, disregarding people in the surrounding states who have depended on the sea for their livelihood for generations,” the spokesman, Charles Jose, said during a news briefing in Manila. He said China’s neighbors in the South China Sea could lose up to $100 million a year because of the loss of the coral reefs, which are breeding grounds for high-value fish harvested by countries surrounding the sea.” As stated above China has already destroyed 300 acres of coral reefs! That is a ton of land that has been destroyed and they are neglecting the neighboring countries and how much they rely on these lands for food and many other things; they could also lose a ton of money each year because of the destruction of coral reefs due to “Island Building”.

China does this in the South China Sea, and they use “Island Building” to construct port facilities, military buildings, and airstrips on these islands. According to an NYTimes article What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea “The installations bolster China’s foothold in the Spratly Islands, a disputed scattering of reefs and islands in the South China Sea more than 500 miles from the Chinese mainland.” Also, “Though too small to support large military units, the islands will enable sustained Chinese air and sea patrols of the area. The United States has reported spotting Chinese mobile artillery vehicles in the region, and the islands could allow China to exercise more control over fishing in the region.” meaning that China is using this to its advantage, such as controlling a large area, and gaining natural resources such as food and large oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea. But unfortunately, they are destroying coral reefs and marine life while “Island Building”.

Before and after “Island Building”


Whaley, Floyd. “China’s Island-Building Is Ruining Coral Reefs, Philippines Says.” The New York Times, 13 Apr. 2015,

“What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea.” The New York Times, 31 July 2015,






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *