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Bridge Scares Off Birds, Washes Away Beaches

Date Posted: 2000-09-15

Residents of the tiny Ikema Island in Miyako have formed a committee to study ways to protect the wildlife and environment of their island. The islanders are worrying that their beaches are being washed into the ocean and at the same time the reefs that are half the time underwater are becoming dry, as the coral dies and sand from the beaches washes onto the reefs. The reason, the residents say, is the construction of a new bridge that connects the island to Miyako Island. The bridge construction changed the ways the water flows around the island.

Ikema used to be a resting place for thousands of migratory birds on their way south from Siberia, but that have now all but disappeared. The committee will study ways to preserve the environment and educate local residents on those matters.

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