From Singapore to South Korea, many countries across Southeast Asia are reclaiming large tracts of coastline to create space for new factories, homes and recreation. The aim is to boost economic prosperity and relieve congestion, but such projects also create environmental problems. To get a better picture of the overall economic impact of this type of development, a new study from the Philippines has looked in detail at the country’s largest proposed reclamation project. It found that the environmental and social costs of the project would exceed PHP 3.3 billion (USD 59.8 million). In fact, taking into account construction costs and the economic benefits the project would bring, the reclamation scheme would result in an economic cost to society of over PHP 18.4 billion (USD 335 million). This raises profound questions about the advisability of the work and points to a number of key issues, such as the control of quarrying, that must he resolved before projects like this are given the green light.