Size DOESN’T matter… Chek Jawa’s youngest hero! [People at the ICCS]

At 4 yrs and 10 mths, Jackie Lim was Chek Jawa’s youngest hero today. Accompanying her parents who were part of the Dow Chemicals ICCS 2010 contingent, she gladdened the hearts of all who saw her at work on Chek Jawa’s southern shore.

Taking full advantage of her light weight, she ventured onto parts of the muddy shore adults had to be cautious about for fear of sinking! Deftly using her pair of tongs under the watchful eyes of her parents, she made quick work of many pieces of plastic accumulated since last year’s cleanup.

Size DOES matter!
An early start to environment responsibility

Jackie volunteered to help carry one of the abandoned kelong fish nets retrieved by adults from the shore.  Calling out the items for the data recorder to note, Jackie showed that size doesn’t matter.

One can start caring for the environment at a very early age.

Kudos to Jackie Lim!

Andy Dinesh
ICCS Recce Captain

A Penny of My Thoughts: the Pasir Ris Beach 6 cleanup with the “Independents”

It is dawn over Pasir Ris. We must be early as we are racing against the tide. Pasir Ris Beach 6 (a.k.a No Man’s Land) will disappear under the rising seas by 11am.

Beach 6 is “No Man’s Land” not because no one is visiting it. But rather, no one is looking after it – even the few who visit do not take care of it.

Trash, mostly plastic bags and food wrappers, are scattered all over the beach and buried beneath a thin layer of sand. It is astounding to see such an amount! I wonder what it will take for visitors to the beach to bring their trash out to nearest bin, a minute’s walk away. Or for people on the adjacent lands to bin their trash instead of letting is fly away into adjacent waters.

My spirits were uplifted by the excellent job done by the Independent Sign-ups. Many thanks to Valerie, Jyothi, Subbiah, Boon Wee, Mindy, Mike, Swee Gek, Vivien, Yi Yong, Nicole, Pei Ern, Jia Hui, Jasmine, Sim Hong, Noemie, Heather, Anand, Kiat and Emma – they bent their backs with volunteers around the world to do their part for the planet!

The 21 of us collect, categorised and removed 360kg of debris in two hours. We did our best and know that we contributed to efforts to conserve marine life.

The site was just too dirty for us to finish. Even as we left, yet another plastic bottle floated in with the tide……

But we will be back, with even more help, once again.

Lim Chen Kee
Deputy Zone Captain,
ICCS Northeast Zone

[Ed’s note – Independents are individuals who sign up on their own, without an organisation and with little prompting for an event without fanfare, goodie bags, t-shirts or souvenirs and with only the promise of hard work and the satisfaction of their contribution. The ICCS Otters have a special affection for these individuals who find us each year, from all walks of life, to pitch in for a morning’s work.]

Is A Plastic Paradise still Paradise? – Coastal Cleanup @ Pasir Ris Site 6

A multinational group of 21 “Independents” of all ages gathered at Pasir Ris Park BBQ Pit No. 64 at 8.30am. This special meeting point is the site of embarkation to an untouched beach in north-eastern Singapore which we discovered last year and subsequently called “A Hidden Paradise” .

ICCS Otter, Lim Chen Kee briefed the group and equipped the group with gloves and trash bags. We trooped off to join veteran cleanup group, Tampines District Cuon Scouts who were already hard at work by the time we joined them!

Given our name of the site, we were amused when one of the first comments we overheard from the group of young scouts was “Wow! This is a Plastic Paradise!” They were certainly correct!

Across the coastline, plastics in a variety of forms were strewn all over the place.  Upon closer examination, shrimp were jumping in and out of discarded plastic food wrappers and plastic cups in streams leading out to the sea. It’s no wonder that we observed Plastic to be the “thriving species” here!

Plastic strewn Pasir Ris Site 6

Hauling up trash at PR6

The data validated our observations – in terms of items collected, plastic bags were the top item collected (520 items), followed by the mostly plastic food wrappers (304 items) and plastic sheeting (205 items). The sight of all these plastic trash motivated the independent participants. They worked almost continuously to haul and bag the trash, despite the blazing sun. We stopped everyone at about 11am as the tide was rising. Wait any longer, and we would have to swim back with the trash bags!

Individual Participants happy after the cleanup!

Thank you, Individual Participants for a job well done – you depleted some of that Plastic from the Plastic Paradise! You guys really roughed it out! It seems that the hard work is addictive, for one of the independents is joining us at another site next week for second round of hard work for the environment!

Ng Kai Scene
Zone Captain,
ICCS Northeast Zone

The first Berlayar Creek ICCS!

The combined efforts of NYGS and NParks saw a trash load of of 235kg were collected during the ICCS conducted at Berlayar Creek mangrove in Labrador Park this morning.

Despite having to wake up super early on a weekend morning, the group of enthusiastic volunteers set off at 6.30am for trash collecting and data collection. Most of the volunteers felt that such meaningful activity should be conducted more frequently on a regular basis!

See results here.

Toh Yuet Hsin
Site Captain, Berlayar Creek Mangrove
ICCS South Zone

Tackling the ‘Trash Monsters’ of Pandan Mangrove

75 warriors from Wildlife Reserve Singapore, Oil Spill Response, Black and Veatch, Independents and NUS Biodiversity Crew & Raffles Museum Toddycats defeated a 1, 597 kilogram ‘Trash Monster’ of Pandan Mangrove today!

We undertook was tough mission indeed! And I’m not talking about the agony of waking up at 5am. Some of us were swallowed by the treacherous bog while others fended off the perpetual presence of mozzies while we fought hard to capture the ‘Trash Monsters’.

Heroic Mr Sivasothi, ICCS national coordinator showing off his muscles.

The ‘Trash Monsters’ today ranged from piles of dumped rubber insulation tubing, more than a thousand plastic bags and *drum roll* even a car bumper! (>.<”’)

We have fought these ‘Trash Monsters’ for three years 4.7 tonnes of the enemy has been removed thus far.

While we celebrate the success of 2010 warriors of Pandan Mangrove, we know that this monster will not stay defeated for long and will return again. The veterans agree, however, we have finally seen signs of it weakening – and will return to battle it once again next September!

Ou Yang Xiuling
Site Captain, Pandan Mangrove
ICCS South Zone

Happy campers at Pandan Mangrove!

South Zone Captain Kelly Ong and Site Captain for Pandan mangrove Ou Yang Xiuling celebrating the 3rd year of a successful cleanup at Pandan mangroves. Photo by Lee Bee Yan.

Data from the cleanup

  • Overall for Pandan – link
  • Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd – link
  • NUS Raffles Museum Toddycats & Biodiversity Crew – link
  • Oil Spill Response – link
  • Wildlife Reserves Singapore – link

Blog posts from the cleanup

  • “Tackling the ‘Trash Monsters’ of Pandan Mangrove,” by Ou Yang Xiuling. News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, 11 Sep 2010 – link
  • “The “Phua Chu Kang” effect [People of the ICCS],” by N. Sivasothi. News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, 12 Sep 2010 – link

Photos from the cleanup:

  • Raffles Museum Toddycats Album 1 (117 photos) – link [kpinto]
  • Raffles Museum Toddycats Album 2 (34 photos) – link [lby]
  • Raffles Museum Toddycats Album 3 (39 photos) – link [oyx]
  • Raffles Museum Toddycats Album 4 (18 photos) – link [klim]