An environmental study conducted by a group of Tirtayasa University (Untirta) students on coastal districts in Banten concluded that almost half of Banten’s coastline was suffering from erosion. The students found the most serious damage caused by erosion occurred in Sumur district in Pandeglang regency, Bojonegara; Lontar, Pulau Dua and Puloampel districts in Serang regency; Kronjo, Mauk, Sukadiri, Pakuhaji, Teluknaga and Kosambi in Tangerang regency.
“Based our results, the sea has moved 60 to 70 meters inland in the past 20 years, Mulyana, one of the students said in Serang on Thursday. According to the students, serious erosion occurred in those districts because there were no mangrove trees to protect the land from waves and no preventive measures put in place by local administrations.
To help prevent erosion, students from Untirta’s Schools of Maths and Agriculture planted a thousand mangrove trees at Karangantu beach in Serang while conducting the study. “Illegal offshore sand digging is the main cause of coastline erosion,” he said. Head of the Banten Maritime and Fisheries Agency Suyitno said Banten’s 509-kilometer coastline stretched from the western tip of Java to the eastern part of the province.
He said the coastline damage continued to increase each year, resulted from a number of activities such as coral reef theft and reclamation, offshore sand mining and untreated industrial waste dumping into the sea. “So far, we strive to safeguard the coastline and the sea wealth, but we can’t stop illegal activities that also damage the marine ecosystem due to the lack of human resources and facilities,” he said. He added transportation activities in the sea had also contributed to the environmental damage in Banten waters.
Tangerang regency administration claimed it was still seeking help to deal with devastating environmental problems, including severe river pollution caused by industrial waste and coastal erosion. Regent Ismet Iskandar said he had once delivered a proposal to visiting representatives from the European Union Parliament in the hope of cooperating with individual EU member countries.
Source: The Jakarta Post – May 25, 2009 Article by Multa