Pulau Ubin – 2.8 tonnes of trash removed but there’s more!

altogether now!...1, 2, heave!!!!!

altogether now!...1, 2, heave!!!!!

About 325 people, schoolkids and adults, got up really early today to head for Pulau Ubin for their part in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2009.

It was a glorious morning with clear skies and they got to work immediately picking, pulling, tugging, cutting, digging, sweating, huffing, puffing, heaving, hauling, carrying and pushing the trash. This was followed by counting, classifying and weighing the trash items recovered from the approximately 475m of shore covered.

The groups that battled on Chek Jawa were :-

  1. Australian International School @ Noordin Beach
  2. CHIJ St Nicholas @ CJ Central 2 – results link
  3. Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority @CJ Central 3 – results link
  4. Pei Hwa Secondary School NPCC cadets @CJ Central 4 – results link
  5. Advantest (Singapore) Pte Ltd @ CJ South 4 – results link
  6. Girl Guides of Hougang Sec & Changkat Changi Sec @ CJ South 5 – results link
  7. Gemalto Pte Ltd @ CJ South 6 – results link
  8. Land Transport Authority @ CJ South 7 – results link
  9. Independant signups @ CJ South 9 – results link;

The total weight of the items collected= 2.786 tonnes.

This is a very large amount of trash – however it is only a small fraction of the total amount still remaining at Chek Jawa and Noordin which we will tackle in the years to come.

Pulau Ubin’s high trash load was either deposited there in the past and present, or floats in with the tide. As with last year, many fish nets and large plastic drums were seen on the shore but the groups only managed to remove some of them.

See the detailed results from the day’s work at Pulau Ubin and other sites in Singapore at coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/results/2009/.

Photos are also online, see pictures by James Koh, pictures by K C Au-Yeong

More news after the second phase of the International Coastal Cleanup on 19 Sept 2009 – this date is the actual date of the global community’s data collecting exercise.

“Our journey to the mangrove coast at Lim Chu Kang”

Our journey to the mangrove coast at Lim Chu Kang

The place was serene and magnificent.

It was my first time there, for the International Coastal Cleanup 2009. Our organiser, Amy Choong, is a very inspiring leader. She explained our objective of being there as green ambassadors cleaning up the mangrove.

Armed up with shopping bags, gloves, data cards, it was 36 Republic students and 2 facilitators in all, and we were in high spirits.

Trudging through the thick mud, I began picking up artificial objects that were not supposed to be there.

Plastics, oil drums, fishing nets, ropes are some of the many non-biodegradable things that me and the others found. Maybe nature has it is a second chance to relive itself from destruction as we, humans were trying our best to help get Nature free from those plastics, metal, rubbery materials.

The important lesson we learnt so far is we should not carelessly throw our unwanted items such as can drinks, refrigerator to the ground, soil or drainage system as these items were brought back to the sea. If we can work this out, things will improve and life will be more meaningful and pleasant to think about.

The sea contains a rich ecosystem that is precious to us. We should not abandon our beaches and mangroves to their destruction – this was an eye-opening experience that could never be felt within my comfort zone.

The event was truly a SUCCESS. We feel the strong urgency to help raise awareness of our vulnerable coast. 

By Nur Afiqah Bte Mohd Azman, Republic Polytechnic

See the photo album of the cleanup Lim Chu Kang mangroves on Flickr – link.

Punggol Squeaky Clean

The cause? 47 volunteers from Queensway Secondary School. Total estimated weight of trash collected = 193kg.

The volunteers were from uniformed groups — Girl Guides, National Cadet Corps and National Police Cadet Corps. The volunteers started at 9.30am, tough and efficient they were, they combed the beach and finished the cleanup in less than 1.5hours.

Doing a cleanup in Punggol is never about brute force. The Punggol shoreline is littered with rocks covered with barnacles and most of the marine debris is trapped in between the rocks. Huge amount of effort and energy is needed to dislodge or remove them.

Five secondary-3 girl guides were appointed as Site Buddies for the cleanup. They were involved in helping the teachers-in-charge oversee the site, and consolidation of data – they did a great job!

After taking group photos, and a debrief by their teacher-in-charge, Miss Latifah, the cleanup ended with a loud cheer.

Cheers for Queensway, cheers for organisers, and cheers for the volunteers!

Labrador Beach Cleanup by River Valley High

We went to clean up the beach at Labrador Park today and it was a fascinating experience. When we first arrived, we saw a lot of rubbish on the sand.

We grouped ourselves into threes and worked together to clean up the beach and collect data. In each group, one of us carried a big trash bag to stuff the rubbish in, another wore gloves and picked up the rubbish and the third recorded the different items found.

We found a variety of waste items, from very common plastic bottles and styrofoam bits to unusual things such as small porcelain figures and brooms. Some rubbish was entangled in seaweed, but thankfully we encountered no dead animals.

The only little creatures we saw were spiders in their webs under the bridge and sand flies hovering over the trash and rotting waste. The little crabs were probably hiding in the small deep holes which we noticed all over the shore.

Everyone definitely looked like they had fun picking the trash. After clearing up the trash scattered on the beach, the beach looks much more appealing than before. It feels great to see that we could personally make a difference in having a cleaner environment.

By Hikaridranz
River Valley High School

Posted via email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Pasir Ris Beach 6 – a hidden paradise!

Chen Kee and Kai Scene dropped in on Pasir Ris Beach 6 for a recce today and discovered a very long beach which is part of military land.

The cleanup next week will include this site but from the looks of the trash load and beach distance, the group tackling Beach 6 will need help. So the independents sign-ups will be helping out here.

Scomi Marine stormed Jalan Selimang

Saturday morning. – a quiet corner at Sembawang: 16 volunteers, 20 trash bags. 165kg. No easy feat.

Scomi Marine Services Pte Ltd reached their cleanup site, Jalan Selimang, at about 8.30am. The volunteers were already grouped in fours. The cleanup was off to a gradual start but the pace picked up and everyone was immersed with collecting trash, data recording and moving filled trash bags to the Trash Weighing Point.


Jeans @ Selimang Beach

The interesting finds at this new site include a steel lamp, a pair of jeans, car parts and a 55 gallon drum. A very common item found buried in the soil were plastic sheets — the exhausted team had an arduous time pulling the sheets out their deep entrenchment in the sand and out of the shallow waters after!

It was VERY VERY heartening was the fact that the volunteers understood the rationale behind the cleanup, and despite a scorching sun and treacherous soft mud and sand, all of them kept up cheery spirits as they did their best for the environment.

98 Warriors make a difference at Pandan Mangrove

98 participants tackled marine debris at Pandan mangroves this morning – the combined volunteer force hailed from Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), Singapore Police Force (SPF) Squad, independent sign-up and the Raffles Museum Toddycats and Department of the Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Together they cleared 1.7 tonnes of trash in just 90 minutes!

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This is the second year that ICCS has tackled Pandan mangroves to contribute to a healthier condition of this tiny, rare but amazing stretch of mangrove in the south-west of Singapore. More abandoned tyres (25) were cleared this year, plus a huge amount of accumulated trash including plastic bags (2,744), food wrappers (835) and styrofoam pieces (757) that still persist on this fragementary habitat.

The clean up process at the site was tough and slow compared to a beach clean up site due to the difficult terrain. Many participants trudged knee-deep in the mud just to lay their hands on the trash pieces that pepper the entire mangrove forest floor.

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The SPF team had an interesting encounter – they saw a snake (probably a harmless dog-faced water snake) as they cleared some tyres but, of course, they were unfazed about it and continued.

Despite all the hard work, everyone of us ended the session in good cheer, having known that we have made a positive difference for the mangrove and its inhabitants!

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See the photo album on Flickr – link.