Coastal cleanup, nature hunt and ‘makan kechil’ – a Nature Society (Singapore) tradition at Kranji Bund mangrove & mudflats

25 Sep 2010 – Sixty people gathered on the afternoon of this Saturday at an unnamed track off Kranji Road for a briefing. This was an unusual sight amidst the peaceful air of an industrial area during a weekend.

Kranji Bund gathering

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The group consisted of members of the Nature Society (Singapore) and their friends and family who had made their way down to Kranji that afternoon, as well as volunteers from amongst the members of the public who had read about cleanup efforts in Singapore, searched and found the society webpage to sign up for this effort to aid the environment!

This group was about to embark on some sticky work as part of the world-wide International Coastal Cleanup to collect, categorise and count the marine debris that plague our shore. And we were going to carry this mission out in the sticky and muddy environment of Kranji Bund’s mangroves and mudflats where we do our regular horseshoe crab rescue and research work.

Working hard during the short window of the low tide, we cleared 1,812 items of marine trash filling some 80 trash bags. There were many assorted items which were too large for the bags such as automobile parts and electrical appliances. All in all, the trash which we had collected, catergorised and counted weighed 648.5 kg!

Typically, even after this amount, we had not completely eliminated trash on the mudflats by the time the tide rose once again. As wit other mangrove sites, we do not want to bring an army of people down as this would cause too much impact. So it is steady and committed work every year, coupled with education efforts over the years, which will help us battle this blight on our shores.

Kranji Bund Trash, 25 Sep 2010

Kranji Bund data, 25 Sep 1010

As is traditional for this event, we added a few more activities to the data-collection exercise and the Plant Group conducted a Nature Hunt with mangrove flora and fauna. Three students from Kranji Secondary School introduced horseshoe crabs to everyone, how these ancient creatures were affected by marine trash and talked about the school’s participation in NSS’ Horseshoe Crab Rescue & Research Project.

We ended the evening with a sing-along and a ‘makan kechil’ session. The winners of the Nature Hunt were announced and each received a copy of the Nature Watch magazine.

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By Cheryl Lao & Anu Jain,
Nature Society (Singapore)

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