The sun was up and the tide was low… just what we need to have a successful coastal cleanup!
On its 3rd year in a row of participation with the ICCS, the members and friends of Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association of Singapore were very much eager to outdo the results from previous coastal cleanups which were hampered by bad weather conditions. A few days ago, I was a bit worried seeing the weather forecast with thunderstorms on Saturday (September 12) but luckily the weather was very cooperative.
After a short briefing on things to be done, grouping in pairs, we immediately proceed to the beach line starting from the river mouth of Sungei Api-Api towards Sungei Tampines. Another group was formed to do a portion of Sungei Api-Api mangroves that adds up to a total of 32 participants.
At first I thought we could not find any trash as the beach looks very clean from afar. But taking a closer look and a thorough check at the shore line we started to find a whole lot of trash from small pieces of cigarette butts, plastic food wrappers and straws, broken glass, strapping bands, fish nets and lines, a buoy, ropes, a 55 gal. drum, some clothing, a styro box and pieces, alkaline batteries, car parts, building materials and a lot more. We even found some condoms and syringes which are very much unlikely you will find in these areas.
Most of the trash collected was concentrated at the mangroves area near the river mouth of Sungei Tampines where we found fish nets and fishing lines got tangled up with the mangroves – a hazard to all marine animals that lives in these areas!
Much to our surprise, the total weight of trash we’ve collected summed up to 129 kilograms – almost doubled from last year’s results where we collected a total of 67kg of rubbish!
Picking up trash specially in the seashore area is fun but it’s no joke to laugh about! Comparing the results from previous years of coastal cleanups is very alarming. The amount and volume of trash collected doubled in just a short period of time!
A large percentage of these trash is being contributed by human activities which is very irresponsible and ignorant in nature. This kind of behavior is causing a great deal of destruction to our marine environment – and it would take years to rejuvenate a destroyed ecosystem. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
I think it is high time to change the mindsets of the general public. We need to have more environmental awareness programs specially at schools to reach out to the younger generations. It is also the duty of the authorities to implement some strict measures on existing laws which are most of the times neglected and ignored.
In behalf of APO Alumni Association of Singapore, I would like to say thank you to the organizers of ICCS for giving us another chance to participate in this years' coastal cleanup and we hope to see you all again on next year’s ICCS and more years to come and hoping for a clean & green Singapore!!!
Daniel EdpanAPO Singapore
More photos on Picasa.