“Several reefs have been destroyed outright to serve as a foundation for the new islands, and the process also causes extensive damage to the surrounding marine ecosystem. Frank Muller-Karger, professor of biological oceanography at the University of South Florida, said sediment “can wash back into the sea, forming plumes that can smother marine life and could be laced with heavy metals, oil and other chemicals from the ships and shore facilities being built.” Such plumes threaten the biologically diverse reefs throughout the Spratlys, which Dr. Muller-Karger said may have trouble surviving in sediment-laden water.”
Besides the strategic concerns for the US and its alllies, there is the ecological devastation, that calls for redress. The big question, how to persuade the Chinese to stop building and destroying.
Although this may sound silly, perhaps we should stop calling the water the South China Sea.