First Meeting of the ICCS Coordinators – new Zone Captains!

We held the first meeting of the ICCS Zone Captains last Friday, and it was lovely to welcome new volunteers who have stepped forward to help with operations.

There are new Zone Captains in East Coast, Tanah Merah and Changi as well as great new support for Pulau Ubin. and South Zones. In the month ahead, Zone Captains will be visiting their sites to check for changes and getting familiar with the site to best advise Organisers, who are registering for Site Allocation for the event in September.

A warm welcome to Tan Chia Wu, Lai Wei Xuan, Oh Chew Hiang, Jolene Chan, Hannah Leong, Suzanne Ou, Pearlynn Sim and welcome back Lei Lei!

Next we confirm Site Captains.

Tally Ho!

The team:

  1. North East & Changi – Yang Yi Yong, Ng Kai Scene, Tan Chia Wu & Lim Chen Kee
  2. Pulau Ubin – Sean Yap, Lai Wei Xuan, Lei Lei, Oh Chew Hiang & Teo Kah Ming
  3. Tanah Merah – Jolene Chan & Hannah Leong
  4. East Coast – Suzanne Ou & Pearlynn Sim
  5. South – Lim Cheng Puay, Cai Hongxia & Kelly Ong
  6. North West – N. Sivasothi & Adriane Lee
  7. Data, webpage, photos & blog – Arani S, Kenneth Pinto & N. Sivasothi

2014-03-21 19.18.54 TKM
Photo by Teo Kah Ming

2014-03-21 20.41.48

Registration for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2014 is now open!

Greetings Organiser!

Mark the date – Sat 13 Sep 2014!
We are happy to welcome you back to this meaningful activity which has been conducted by organised volunteer groups in Singapore since 1992. This year in Singapore, we will conduct our cleanups on the morning of the second Saturday, or 13th September 2014.

The tide that Saturday morning is low (0.80m tide at 7:35 am) so this is a safe and efficient time. While most groups will conduct their cleanup on the 13th of September, you can suggest alternative dates on weekdays or the afternoon low tide on the 13th at non-recreational beaches. We will coordinate to avoid double counting and overlaps.

You can view a list of available sites at:

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore: Zones & Sites - Google Maps

Invitation to register!
We now invite you the Organiser, to submit your registration at (or use this link) and indicate your preferred sites and dates.

The ICCS team will meet to conduct Site Allocations Exercises based on the Organiser’s experience with ICCS, earliness of registration, familiarity with the site, volunteer preparation, and site difficulty. The results of these exercises will be announced at the end of April, May, and June.

Registrations will closed henceforth.

NYGH @ TM7, 21 Sep 2013

Workshops for Organisers in July
These are meant for Organisers and their assistants only. Once again, there will be three small group evening sessions available for you to choose ONE date from Wed 02 Jul, Thu 03 Jul & Fri 04 Jul 2014. The workshop is critical for new organisers or anyone who needs help to conduct a site recce and safety assessment. The workshop is conducted by N. Sivasothi and the Zone Captains at NUS. Indicate your intent to attend now and we will invite you to register for this later.

Other important dates
The ICCS Lecture for participants will be conducted on Sat 02 Aug 2014 at NUS. This is meant for volunteers and the public. The session will be conducted by N. Sivasothi at NUS and will be publicised in July.

The National Day cleanup will be held on Sat 09 Aug 2014.

If you are interested in a cleanup at ANY OTHER PERIOD, please see Year-Round Coastal Cleanup guidelines at:

Thank you for your interest in caring for the environment!

N. Sivasothi
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

The first and final coastal cleanup at Pulau Semakau in 2014

Pulau Semakau will be closed for about a year for the development of the Phase 2 lagoon from March 2014. Before that happens, a cleanup was conducted in Sat 15 Feb 2014 by 96 volunteers, 71 HSBC staff and 25 nature volunteers.

Ron Yeo the coordinator for this cleanup, who is also the ICCS Site Captain for Pulau Semakau., reports:

“Generally there are several types of solid waste found along the Pualu Semakau shore:

  1. Things left behind by the previous islanders, including refrigerator shells, sofas and other bulky things.
  2. Trash discarded by the illegal fishermen, such as nets and ropes.
  3. Trash brought in by the currents, including small items like bottles, bags, styrofoam and toys and larger items such as chemical drums.

For this cleanup, I suggested volunteers focus on the smaller plastic trash in order to remove as much trash as possible out of the forest rather expending energy on just a few heavy bulky trash items.

We removed a total of 517.5kg of plastic trash.

This as an excellent job by everyone involved. Semakau requires a long trek to remove trash after a cleanup and is littered with many small items. Coastal cleanups like these which are conducted throughout the year are much needed and much appreciated. Find out more about Year-Round Cleanups.

Well done folks!

All aboard!
20140215 Semaku Cleanup01 ferry ronyeo

Ron Yeo briefing HSBC staff and other volunteers
20140215 Semaku Cleanup02 briefing ftk

The trash awaits
20140215 Semaku Cleanup02b trash ftk

Hard at work during the afternoon low tide20140215 Semaku Cleanup03 pickuptrash ftk

Moving trash to the Trash Disposal Point
20140215 Semaku Cleanup04 movetrash ftk

Happy faces at the beach!20140215 Semaku Cleanup05 group ronyeo

Thanks to Fung Tze Kwan an Ron Yeo for photos!

For the record, the programme for the afternoon cleanup is listed below:

1.30pm Meet at Marina South Pier
1.45pm Briefing for non-HSBC volunteers and prepare for departure
3.00pm Arrive at Pulau Semakau
3.15pm General briefing and change into appropriate footwear
3.30pm Bus ride to shore area and start of cleanup
5.30pm End cleanup & weigh trash; Start intertidal exploration
7.00pm End intertidal walk and carry trash to main road
7.15pm Wash up and bus ride to NEA office
7.30pm Dinner
9.00pm Depart from Semakau
10.00pm Arrive at Marina South Pier

A call for volunteers to help coordinate coastal cleanups in Singapore!

The volunteer coordinators of the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore are conducting a recruitment exercise to search for motivated individuals who want to contribute to the betterment of the marine environment.

Volunteers will conduct evaluations of beaches and mangroves prior to cleanups, learn about marine life, liase with Organisers, help plan workshops, process data, conduct outreach activities as well as leading by example during beach and mangrove cleanups!

We are looking for Site Buddies and Site Captains who are able to commit to a maximum of ten days between March and September 2014. Check the full calendar of dates. If you fit the bill, sign up here!


We are a dedicated team who have been coordinating the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore for more than a decade. We work with Organisers from more than 60 organisations and institutions who lead some 4,000 volunteers to the beach and mangroves of Singapore in September, and with Organisers of Year-Round Coastal Cleanups.

We keep meetings and emails to a minimum in order to sustain this effort alongside our regular jobs long-term. So to work with us, you need to be responsive and dedicated. If unfamiliar, you will be introduced to our use of digital tools and field-preparation.

If you think this sounds like something you could do, we would be most happy to welcome you!

To join us, sign up here!

See you on the beach!



N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

What do ICCS Zone Captains do?

Shoreline recces

Workshop Tutorials
2013-07-03 20.39.02

ICCS Lecture dialogues

School Talks

Briefing volunteers

Coastal cleanup!

Getting stuck!

Every piece counts

Weighing trash

Feeling accomplished!

Washing gloves!

Data processing

Fellowship through year-round action
42_PreNatiDay_MangroveCleanup-04 aug2012[andydinesh]

Three oil spill incidents near the Southern Islands in two weeks in Jan and Feb 2014

First, there were two, now a third collision adds to the toll of oil spilled in Singapore’s Southern shores.

The first two collisions occurred between chemical tanker “Lime Galaxy” and container ship “Feihe” o 29 Jan 2014 and between container ship “NYK Themis” and barge “AZ Fuzhou” on 30 Jan 2014. A total of 680 metric tonnes of fuel oil were spilt near the beaches of Kusu and St. John’s Islands. MPA reports that the affected areas have since been cleaned up by the Maritime Port Authority (MPA), National Environment Agency (NEA) and other agencies.

A third spill occurred on 10 Feb 2014. MPA reported that container ship “Hammonia Thracium” and chemical tanker “Zoey” collided off Sebarok Island, resulting in a spillage of 80 metric tonnes of bunker fuel.

Oil slick at Seringat-Kias from St. John’s Island Marine Laboratory

While all the involved vessels are now in stable conditions, the same is not certain for Singapore’s reefs. Our shores boost a rich biodiversity of over 200 species of hard corals and other organisms such as sea stars, sponges and anemones, many of which are endemic to the region. They remain susceptible to acute and long-term physiological effects due to oil contamination and a destabilization of the fragile ecosystem.

With about 1000 vessels in Singapore waters at any one time, the risk of a catastrophic accident remains ever-present. Yet, the devastating news of the oil spill is but one of many challenges that Singapore’s marine biodiversity faces. From marine litter choking our waters to land reclamation resulting in habitat loss, the survival of Singapore’s unprotected marine life is constantly under threat.

However, the outlook on the health of our precious coastal habitats need not be invariably despondent. While we may not be able to do much about collisions of vessels, you can make an effort to keep up to date on the latest information and be conscious in your daily actions to minimize the impact on the environment.

You will find more updates on the oil spill and information about the biodiversity of our Southern Islands on Wildshores and a preliminary assessment of the situation on Kusu Island by Peiyan.

What killed the fish? Wild Shores of Singapore investigates with the scientific farmer

An excellent blog post by Ria Tan of Wild Shores of Singapore who investigates the cause of fish deaths in the Straits of Johor. She taps on the expertise of Shannon Lim, the scientific farmer (see 1and 2) and investigates the ground through a network of fellow bloggers and volunteers.

“Recent mass fish deaths: cause and implications,” by Ria Tan. Wild Shores of Singapore, 13 Feb 2014 [link].

wild shores of singapore: Recent mass fish deaths: cause and implications
wild shores of singapore: Recent mass fish deaths: cause and implications

You can follow both of them on Facebook – Ria Tan/WildSingapore and Shannon Lim/OnHandAgrarian.

Microplastics in Singapore’s mangroves

Nur Hazimah Mohamed Nor, Jeffrey Philip Obbard, 2014. Microplastics in Singapore’s coastal mangrove ecosystems. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 79 (1–2): 278-283, ISSN 0025-326X, []

Abstract: The prevalence of microplastics was studied in seven intertidal mangroves habitats of Singapore. Microplastics were extracted from mangrove sediments via a floatation method, and then counted and categorized according to particle shape and size. Representative microplastics from Berlayar Creek, Sungei Buloh, Pasir Ris and Lim Chu Kang were isolated for polymer identification using Attenuated Total Reflectance–Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy.

Microplastics were identified in all seven habitats, with the highest concentration found in sediments at Lim Chu Kang in the northwest of Singapore. The majority of microplastics were fibrous and smaller than 20 μm. A total of four polymer types were identified, including polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon and polyvinyl chloride.

The relationship between abundance of microplastics and sediment grain size was also investigated, but no relationship was apparent. The presence of microplastics is likely due to the degradation of marine plastic debris accumulating in the mangroves.

Thanks Fabiano Barreto and Sam Judd for the alert!