Watch: Development causing widespread pollution in Sliema creek – NGOs

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Gżira end of Sliema Creek has turned milky white due to the volume of dust caused by works on the Gżira waterfront lido being built by a consortium, sparked further ire from environmental organisations.

In a joint statement on Monday, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA), Tuna Artna Lura, NatureTrust Malta and Inħobbu l-Gżira said that the ongoing works were wreaking untold damage to the sea life there.

The NGOs claimed that the development was located on the site of 36 colonies of protected Mediterranean coral Cladocora caespitosa. The extremely rare, protected species of coral is included in the Red List of endangered species threatened with extinction by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN).

The Environment Resources Authority had tried shifting three colonies of coral to a new site, however, the environmental watchdog had reported to the Planning Authority that the translocated colonies were “declining”.

The NGOs lambasted the authority for their silence on the trial and the proposed translocation of the rest of the endangered Mediterranean coral, highlighting that the works still continued.

‘The installation of a silt curtain has yet again failed, allowing silt to spread over all the inner part of the creek, choking both the coral and the seagrass that acts as a breeding ground for fish on the seabed,’ the NGOs said.

The NGOs voiced their concern about the irreversible damage that has been made to the coral and the damage beyond the site which will continue long-term.