Site Allocation Exercise 3 – 76% of sites allocated for ICCS in Sep 2015!

Friday evenings, 22 May & 26 Jun 2015: 7.00pm @ NUS Faculty of Science Active Learning Room [S16-03] – The ICCS Otters conducted the second and third Site Allocation Exercise (SAX2/SAX3) in preparation for ICCS 2015, scheduled for 19 Sep 2015.

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At SAX1 on 24 Apr 2015, 33 organisations had registered 1,946 volunteers for ICCS. Two months later at SAX3, there were 60 organisations comprising 3,507 volunteers which have registered for ICCS 2015. This means three-quarters of our shores capacity has been met and we expect more to trickle in.

Zone Captains have had to juggle some organisations between sites in order to fit their estimated participation while taking into consideration their logistical needs (e.g. access to facilities) – and organisers were confirmation at their sites.

As of now, the zone status are:

  1. North-West – 81% filled; three sites open
  2. North-East – 71% filled; two sites open, two almost full
  3. Pulau Ubin – 59% filled; five sites open, one almost full
  4. Changi – 100% filled; one site almost full
  5. Tanah Merah – 64% filled; five sites open
  6. East Coast – 100% filled; all sites full
  7. South – 73% filled; three sites open, one almost full

For details, see status.coastalcleanupsingapore.org:

ICCS Status 2

Next, the ICCS team will focus on the Organiser’s Workshop and joint recces before the final event. We look forward to working with our Organisers closely for ICCS 2015!

ICCS Workshop for Organisers 2015

We are pleased to announce the ICCS Workshop 2015 for Organisers.
This workshop will update and equip you with information and strategies for running a safe, effective, educational and green event. We are conducting this on weekday nights in a small-group environment to enhance your experience and facilitate your asking of questions.

The workshop will be conducted this Wed-Fri 1st, 2nd and 3rd July 2015, from 7.00pm – 9.30pm. Please pick one date here: http://tinyurl.com/iccs-workshop2015. The questions on this form will help us tailor the workshop to your needs.

Details of the workshop:

Venue: Active Learning Room (S16-03),

Same floor as LT31 entrance

Faculty of Science, Block S16

Science Drive 1

National University of Singapore

Map to venue: http://tinyurl.com/map-nuslt31 (right next to the Science Canteen)

Do feel free to come casually dressed – the workshop will be conducted in a relaxed, informal manner.
We look forward to meeting you!

ICCS at Ubin Day 2015: working together to promote solutions!

13 & 14 June 2015 (Saturday and Sunday) – ICCS joined forces with the Civet Awareness Team for a combined NUS Toddycats booth on Ubin Day this year! It was an exciting weekend filled with activities all over the island, from guided nature walks to coastal and terrestrial cleanups, to kayaking sessions. ICCS was certainly delighted to present a booth at the exhibition area.

ICCS featured specimens from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum to introduce Singapore’s marine life and posters about marine trash and entanglement on our shores and w everyday solutions.

Manning the booth were passionate and hardworking volunteers who reached out to many visitors over the two day – well done on an excellent job!
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We were up bright and early on the 1st day, and set up by 7.30am, with hardworking ICCS volunteers all prepared for a day of outreach.

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Left: We shielded the dry specimens from the bright sunlight. UV rays from the sun can damage and discolour the feathers of these bird specimens.
Right: Joleen Chan, ICCS’ Tanah Merah Zone Captain talks about the Knobby Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus).

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Iris Ng shares about Horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda and Tachypleus gigas) with young visitors to the booth.

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Left: View of the booth from the side
Right: Sean Goh and Matt Wong – our new volunteers, helped to engage members of the public with an interactive marine life and trash game.

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The booth was very popular with the public! Our volunteers were kept busy throughout the two days, engaging visitors with interesting stories and lessons.

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Left: John introducing a visitor mangrove creatures of Singapore.
Right: Jerome sharing about the Stonefish (Synanceia sp.)

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Left: Yiyong gets ready his story about the Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Right: Juin Bin talks about the Dugong (Dugong Dugon)

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There was also great excitement at the terrestrial and avian corner. Specimens of mammals, reptiles and bird found on Ubin drew many curious visitors, whom our volunteers intrigued with fascinating stories.

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Left: Joys and Joleen hold up posters, raising awareness about the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus),and the cruelty behind the Kopi Luwak Industry. Visit Project Luwak to find out more about this.
Right: Chee Keon and Leng Leng, both ready to share their stories about Bats in Singapore (Order: Chiroptera)!

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Ubin Day 2 began with a heavy shower, but we were right back into action the second it stopped!

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Left: Our first visitor of the day arrived before we even finished setting up the booth. Our volunteer Max didn’t even have time to put down his bag!
Right: John gets these young visitors to guess where in Singapore marine life and marine trash can be found.

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Left: Keen, our youngest volunteer for the day amazing visitors with his knowledge on local biodiversity
Right: Lots of thanks to Erin who dropped by to help us manage the booth when manpower was running low!

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Left: Our last visitor to the booth on Sunday before we packed up.
Right: Travis gets him to listen for the sounds of the ocean through the Baler volute (Melo melo).

These outreach efforts are an extremely important opportunity to reach out to members of the public and raise awareness about local ecological issues. The specimens play an essential role and by talking about the unique characteristic adaptations traits they have, as well as what makes each species so special, we hope to encourage a greater appreciation for our fauna. The engagement stimulates thoughts about solutions and encourages people to begin with the small things everyday Singaporeans can do, to play a part in preserving and conserving biodiversity.

Our next gig is at the Festival of Biodiversity 2015 on 27 & 28 June 2015! Join us to learn more about the rich biodiversity in our beautiful red dot!

See more at the Ubin Day Facebook page.

ICCS Youth Day Celebrations: Marine Biodiversity and Sustainability Workshop + Mangrove Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan

In celebration of Youth Day, ICCS will offer a Marine Biodiversity and Sustainability Workshop and Mangrove Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan. We hope to introduce youth with an awareness of mangrove biodiversity, the impact marine trash and steps we can take on site and in our daily lives to improve the situation. 

Note: Our “Youth Day Celebrations” are open to all ages!
Sign up here by 1 July 2015 if you are keen to join us!

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Marine Biodiversity and Sustainability Workshop: 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Venue: Learning Lab @ Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
This workshop introduces participants to marine life in Singapore, the precious and surviving Sungei Pandan mangrove and the impact of marine trash. We will also explore sustainable solutions individuals can undertake to make a difference both onsite and upstream in our daily lives.

Itinerary
11.45am – 12.00pm: Registration
12.00pm – 12.30pm: Marine Life in Singapore and the mangroves of Sungei Pandan by N. Sivasothi aka ‘Otterman’.
12.30pm – 1.00pm: Introduction to mangrove and marine life with museum specimens.
1.00pm – 1.30pm: How individuals can make a difference in sustainability at home and at the workplace by Dr Amy Choong.
1.30pm – 2.00pm: Q&A & field trip preparations.

Youth Day Mangrove Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan: 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Meeting point: Bus stop @ Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

ICCS hopes to celebrate the youthful spirit with a cleanup at Sungei Pandan, a small, precious and unprotected patch of mangrove located in south-western Singapore. Through this exercise, participants be introduced to this historical site and obtain a first-hand understanding of the marine trash issue in Singapore.

Itinerary
2.00pm – 2.30pm: Transport from LKCNHM to Sungei Pandan Mangrove.
2.30pm – 2.45pm: Briefing and identification of Trash Collection Point (TCP). Collect gloves and trash bags.
2.45pm – 4.00pm: Mangrove cleanup
4.00pm – 4.15pm: Move trash to TCP.
4:15pm – 4.30pm: Weigh and record trash; debrief.
4.30pm – Bus leaves for LKCNHM.

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Things to note

  1. Transport to Sungei Pandan Mangrove, gloves, trash bags and weighing scales are provided.
  2. You MUST wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to protect your feet.
  3. A change of clothes is recommended for after the sweaty workout.
  4. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites, but bermudas are fine.
  5. We will halt the cleanup if there is threat of lightning.

Things to bring:

  1. Water bottle (with at least one litre of water)
  2. Hat and/ or sun block
  3. Reusable raincoat/ poncho (we will work in rain)
  4. Towel to wipe off sand and mud

Be prepared:

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a decent lunch – it’s hard work!
  3. Be punctual – we are unable to wait for latecomers; tide waits for no one!
  4. Refer to this recce report of Sungei Pandan for more information on the cleanup site.
  5. Please read our advice to participants to prepare yourself for the cleanup!

Thank you for caring for our planet!

Year-Round Coastal Cleanup – BASF remove 147kg of trash @ Changi Beach (28 May 2015)

28 May 2015 – Yoko Koike, Communications Manager of Petrochemicals Asia Pacific reports,

“A team from the Petrochemicals Division at BASF South East Asia Pte. Ltd. volunteered to clean up the Changi Beach Park under the Year-Round Coastal Cleanup (YRCC) program. The team collected a total of 147 kg trash along the 1 km coastline.

Considering that this is a recreational beach, the amount of trash was much more than what the participants had anticipated. The largest and quite unexpected item found was a mooring line which took three people to pull along to the Trash Collection Point.”

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“The cleanup activity and the discussion focused on marine litter and helped raise the awareness about the global issue of marine littering and waste management among the group. Participants agreed that our effort that may seem small, but can make a difference when it comes to creating a sustainable future collectively.”

Congratulations to the BASF team on your effort for the environment and Organisers Yoko Koike and Evelyn Ong who efficiently organised the cleanup!

Shocked by FIVE kg of straws @ Tanah Merah Beach 7 – the World Environment Day Coastal Cleanup

On Saturday 6th June 2015, 52 participants removed more than 632kg of trash in 89 trash bags at Tanah Merah Beach 7. After an introduction to the site and procedural briefing, ICCS Deputy Coordinator Kai Scene conducted a comprehensive safety briefing.2015-06-06 08.10.28

ICCS Dy Coord Ng Kai Scene conducting the safety briefing before the cleanup

Straws stood out that day at Tanah Merah Beach 7. I overheard a few comments about the numerous straws on the beach and decided to focus on collecting straws alone. I ended up with a whopping 5kg of straws!

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As they cleaned the beach, participants observed the biodiversity at Tanah Merah Beach. The intertidal zone was covered in Tape seagrass (Enhalus Acoroides), and Batillaria snails (Batillaria zonalis), as well as burrows created by Sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera sp.) and Ghost crabs (Ocypode sp.)! I counted 24 casts from the Acorn Worm (Enteropneusta sp.), and 15 Haddon’s Carpet Anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

Furthermore, the low morning tide of 0.2m allowed us to witness the beautiful coral reefs of Tanah Merah! Sandpaper corals (Psammocora sp.), Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Pore corals (Porites sp.), Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.), and Favid Corals (family Faviidae) have been reported from here. Read more about the living reefs of Tanah Merah on Ria Tan’s blog post.

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After 90 minutes, we began to weigh the trash bags and formed a human chain to move them from the beach to the Trash Collection Point at the carpark. later that afternoon, a contractor detached by NEA’s Department of Public Cleanliness would later collect them. Everyone worked really hard together to transport the trash efficiently!

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With the hard work of the day accomplished, we debriefed the participants at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and discussed everyday solutions to reduce waste generation. Avoiding disposables by bringing your own tumbler and lunchbox begins to make a difference. Refusing a straw for your drink – and encouraging your friends and family to do the same begins to get us to think about upstream solutions.

These actions help us  reduce the amount of waste we send to incinerators in Singapore, but also begins to address our throw-away culture.

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Some of the 44 participants with the 89 bags of trash!

Congratulations to everyone who came down for the world Environment Day cleanup. See you at the next cleanup!

“Marine Life and the Threat of Marine Trash” – ICCS talks for your organisation in Jun-Jul 2015!

ICCS conducts talks on local marine biodiversity and the dangers of marine trash for schools and corporate groups! If you would like your students or co-workers to learn more about these marine issues before your cleanup register with this form to arrange a talk in Jun-Jul 2015.

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7115062911_4c7e19db7aICCS 2012 Manpower Captain Jocelyne Sze speaking to Queenstown Secondary School students for Earth Day.

What do we cover during our talks?

1) Local Marine Biodiversity
What exactly are “marine habitats” and what can we find in these environments? Despite major land reclamation works on our coastlines, Singapore still does have a substantial amount of marine life! This section will give a brief introduction into marine flora and fauna, and where they can be found on our island.

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2) The Threat of Marine Trash
How “clean and green” are our beaches exactly? This section will offer insight into the plight of some beaches and mangroves in Singapore, and the dangers that trash in these environments pose to marine life, as well as to us.

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3) What the ICCS data tells us
What can we deduce about marine trash through looking at data? What does our trash mainly comprise of and what is the significance of data collection during coastal cleanups?

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4) What can we do?
How can we change our daily habits into more sustainable alternatives? This section will offer insight into small things individuals can do to play their part for the oceans.

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For blog posts about talks by ICCS in the past, see this page.