Tung Chung River is among the few local rivers that are still free of pollution and have a natural estuary. It has high ecological value, nurturing over 20 native freshwater fish species including Acrossocheilus beijiangensis, which is narrowly distributed in Hong Kong. Tung Chung River estuary is a large natural wetland, with mangroves and mudflat that provide nursing, feeding and sheltering habitats for a variety of marine organisms. There are numerous species of crabs and shellfish as well as the "living fossil" - Horseshoe Crab. The coastal waters are also breeding and nursery grounds of several commercially valuable fishes and pipefish. As this information shows, the Tung Chung River, its estuary and the coast are of high ecological significance.
Since the 1990s, the government has been developing a new town at Tung Chung with more than 300 hectares developed. Now, the government plans to develop the Tung Chung River basin and reclaim Tung Chung East to carry out the Tung Chung New Town Extension. We have been monitoring the ecological impacts of development on Tung Chung River. We will continue our ecological survey of Tung Chung River basin, estuary and coastal areas, and regularly release the results to the public.