Registration opens for the 25th International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (Sat 03 & Sat 17 Sep 2016)!

Announcement – ICCS 2016 Registration for Organisers is now open, and results of Site Allocation will be released at end-Apr, end-May and end-Jun 2016.

Greetings Organisers!

The International Coastal Cleanup is coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington DC, USA. Every the third Saturday of September, volunteers around the world rise with the sun to conduct a cleanup at shores and waterways with a difference – they collect, categorise, record and remove trash, and have done so since 1986!

In Singapore, ICC Organisers have facilitated the contribution of thousands of volunteers to the International Coastal Cleanup program in Singapore since 1992. And in 2016, it is the 25th year we welcome Organisers to lead volunteers to participate in this meaningful activity once again!

Dates and tides
Sites difficulty and recce reports can be reviewed at sites.coastalcleanupsingapore.org. Do review the evaluation of the site and examine photos and results from previous years to prepare yourself.

New Organisers can familiarise themselves with the operational needs of organising a cleanup at at the Organiser’s Page here.

Mark the dates – Sat 03 Sep 2016 (Mangroves) & Sat 17 Sep 2016 (Beaches)

The tidal heights in Singapore (Sembawang) are:

  • Sat 03 2016: 0800 – 0.9m; 0900 – 1.3m
  • Sun 17 Sep 2016: 0800 – 1.4m; 0900 – 1.9m

Thus mangrove and beach cleanups will be held two weeks apart to allow mangrove workers a wider area of access at their site. Beach cleanups on the 3rd of September must begin by 8.00am as usual, for the tide rises quickly during this full moon to more than 3.0 meters by midday.

Registration – Organisers can now register your groups for participation in September’s data gathering cleanup. Indicate your preferred sites and dates at registration.coastalcleanupsingapore.org.

ICCS map

Site Allocations Exercise I – III
The ICCS team will 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 Apr, May and June and listed at status.coastalcleanupsingapore.org

Registration will be close thereafter.

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Workshops for Organisers in July
The workshop will conducted by the Zone Captains at NUS and are meant for Organisers and their assistants only. The workshop is critical for new organisers but also useful to veterans to participate and anyone who needs help in reviewing the site recce and safety assessment checklist.

There will be three small group evening sessions for you to chose from on Wed 13th July, Thu 14th July & Fri 15th July 2016. Simply indicate your intent during registration and we will confirm your attendance later. If July is inconvenient, indicate your available period and your Zone Captains will try to arrange a quick catchup session with you another time.

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Year-round coastal cleanups (YRCC)
You can also organize cleanups at any other time of the year if you wish – numerous groups have been making a difference this way at non-recreational sites throughout the year. Please see Year-Round Coastal Cleanup guidelines, and contact us accordingly.

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What about individual participation?
“Independents” are a highly valuable community of motivated individuals who sign up independently to participate in cleanups organised by ICCS. To be kept notified, join the mailing list by sending an empty email to iccs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. This low volume list has less than 10 emails annually. Or keep a lookout for announcements of cleanups here.

Thank you for your interest in caring for the environment!

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator,
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Mediacorp’s short videos about coastal cleanups in Singapore

Mediacorp, which started the Saving Gaia corporate initiative in 2007, and they began beach cleanups in 2014 at Selimang Beach. In 2015, they organised a year-round cleanup for World Environment Day as well and will do more in 2016.

Each video was short, yet conveys clear messages about marine trash and what we can do to battle the problem. These interstitials were aired numerous times on various television channels and helped to raise awareness of the issue, in addition to the hard work on the shores.

Well done, Mediacorp!

Mediacorp Saving Gaia Beach Cleanup at Tanah Merah 6 (Sep 2015)

Mediacorp Saving Gaia Beach Cleanup at Pasir Ris 6 (Jun 2015)

Mediacorp Saving Gaia Beach Cleanup at Selimang Beach (Sep 2014), see Facebook.

Participation in International Coastal Cleanup Singapore has doubled over a decade

Registration by Organisations for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) in September this year will be open next week.

Looking back at participation in recent years (2010-2014), on the average some 3,500 ICCS volunteers from 70 organisations have worked 20,000 metres of Singapore’s shoreline, removing more than 180,00 pieces of trash in 2,200 trash bags weighing about 16,000kg.

Encouragingly, this has doubled since the last decade.

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There is plenty of work to do out on our shores, so this massive effort has been supplemented by an increasing number of year-round cleanups in the recent years. This has been and remains a wonderful contribution to the marine environment by volunteers in Singapore.

Operation WE Clean Up @ Lim Chu Kang Beach & Mangrove (Sun 08 May 2016: 7.30am) – join us!

“Operation WE Clean Up!,” led by the Keep Singapore Clean Movement aims to encourage Singaporeans to reflect on the cleanliness of their environment. In conjunction with the movement, ICCS will be organising a coastal cleanup on Sunday, 08 May 2016: 7.30am to 11.30am.

Please register here.

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To read up more about “Operation WE Clean Up!,” please visit the Public Hygiene Council page.

Why Cleanup? Singapore shores are host to a magnificent biodiversity that has survived innumerable pressures from man. Marine trash in these areas adversely impacts our wildlife, releases toxic chemicals and devalues the natural beauty of the landscape. Coastal cleanups conducted by volunteers around the world remove this trash, raise awareness of the plight of our oceans, and motivate us to rethink our habits in daily urban living to push us towards sustainable practises.

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Lim Chu Kang Beach located in the northwest of Singapore, is an iconic beach and mangrove next to Lim Chu Kang Jetty. Facing the Western Straits of Johor, it it besieged by trash from numerous land-based sources deposited into rivers, as well as from offshore fish farms. The precious mangrove is an area where this trash accumulates and impacts the life there.

Meeting Point: Participants can meet at the bus stop outside Kranji MRT (Bus code: 45139) and will be transported to the cleanup site at Lim Chu Kang Beach.

Bus pick up point

Itinerary 

07.30 – Bus pick up at bus stop outside Kranji MRT (Bus code: 45139)
08:00 – Arrive at the end of Lim Chu Kang Road, unload all logistics from the bus.
08:15 – Apply insect repellant, collect gloves and trash bags. Briefing about the site, wet weather plans (carry on unless lighting threat), form groups of four, move to site, identification of Trash Collection Point (TCP
08:30 – Cleanup begins
09:00 – Transportation of trash to TCP.
09:30 – End of clean-up. Trash is weighed and participants debriefed
10:00 – Participants clean up (bring water to ensure you are clean enough to board the bus). Note that there are no recreational facilities nearby.
10:30 – Bus will transport participants from cleanup site back to Kranji MRT.
11:00 – We say goodbye at Kranji MRT!

Things to note

  1. Transport to Lim Chu Kang Beach, gloves, trash bags and weighing scales are provided.
  2. You MUST wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  3. A change of clothes is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  4. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites, but bermudas are fine.
  5. In the event of bad weather, we will continue the cleanup. The event will stop in the case of lightning threat.

Things to bring:

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

Be prepared:

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a decent breakfast – it’s hard work!
  3. Bring a snack to munch on immediately after the cleanup.
  4. Be punctual – we are unable to wait for latecomers; tide waits for no one!
  5. Bring water and a small towel to clean yourself with – else no boarding the bus!
  6. Refer to this recce report of Lim Chu Kang Beach for more information on the cleanup site.

Thank you for caring for our planet!

Singapore World Water Day – 29 volunteers remove 415.5kg of trash (43 trash bags) @ Sungei Pandan Mangrove [26 March 2016]

29 volunteers celebrated World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan on 26 March 2016 – beaming with enthusiasm and with quiet intent that early Saturday morning, they certainly raised our spirits!

They had hopped onto a bus from from Kent Ridge and Dover MRT stations to our gathering point at the Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop. Against the noisy traffic, and with the help of a handy gigaphone, ICCS Coordinator Sivasothi aka Otterman introduced the site and its ecosystem before the ICCS -IKEA Intern Joys Tan (that’s me!) embarked on my first safety briefing!

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 5.jpg

After many years of cleanups, the trash load at Sungei Pandan is now low and dominated by plastic sheets, cups, bottles, wrappers, straws, styrofoam (eps) and canvas bags. Many were embedded in the grass patch and mangrove floor, which requires a great effort for removal. Our volunteers were not dismayed but worked away, intent on improving the conditions in this rare mangrove spot in the south of Singapore – just look at the bright smiles on their faces!

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The ninety minute cleanup was an intense effort! So some of us took break after an hour to catch our breath and rest some weary muscles. Eventually it was time and we transferred and weighed the trash bags and set them aside at the agreed location for the NEA DPC contractors who ensure the trash gets disposed.

We debriefed the team by the roadside and reported a removal of 415.5kg of trash in 43 trash bags from the mangrove after an effort of 90 minutes! We discussed the type of trash we saw, remarked on the need to share the experience to encourage everyone to reduce trash at the source in our daily lives.

Otterman concluded with the biodiversity and heritage value of these precious remnant mangroves at Sungei Pandan and of the positive impact of the cleanups had made over the years. And we thanked the lovely volunteers for making a difference to Singapore!

Photos from the cleanup are available on Flickr and Facebook.

That was really some awesome work, volunteers! Thank you for protecting the environment!

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 13.jpg

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 9.jpg

Over the Horizon – Wang Ruobing’s art installation of plastic waste from shores of Singapore! (Until 3rd Apr 2016)

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Over the Horizon is an installation work by the artist Wang Ruobing using plastic marine debris collected from Singapore shores at at Changi, Pasir Ris Parks, Kranji, Sungei Pandan, Seletar North Link, Lim Chu Kang and Pulau Ubin.

Her artwork can be viewed from 4th February to 3rd April 2016 at the Esplanade concourse. Wach the video here:

About the installation:

“The most commonly used everyday material since the beginning of the 20th century, plastic is non-biodegradable and often ends up floating in the oceans for years before breaking down into environmentally-damaging microplastic.

Over the Horizon is a site-specific installation dealing with plastic pollution. Made from plastic waste collected from Singapore’s coastlines, creating an elevated viewing platform on which audiences can observe kinetic plastic-waste waves, it explores this global issue, highlighting the interdependency of individual activities.

Artist/ curator/ researcher Wang Ruobing’s practice often explores how nature/environment is a source of disjuncture and a reflector mirroring people’s social, political and cultural struggles.”

In June last year, we received Ruobing’s request and arranged for her to participate in the Youth Day cleanup at Sungei Pandan mangrove in July. Some of the trash collected from this cleanup and other cleanups by passionate environmental groups in Singapore such as Sea Shepherds and the Nature Society (Singapore), were brought back by the artist, and given a second life in educating the public!

Awesome work, Ruobing!