Deanna Lye signed up as an Independent Volunteer to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. Allocated to Sungei Tampines, she reported to Zone Captain Ng Kai Scene and accompanied her back to NUS to wash gloves and help in data processing. We were heart-warmed by her enthusiasm and grateful for the help which she assures us is just the start of a beautiful friendship.
She writes of her experience:
Sat 17 Sep 2011 – “By 5.45am, I was out of bed, ready to jump in and get my hands dirty for the morning.
This I speak of is the International Coastal Cleanup Day which took place in Singapore, an annual volunteering feat involving numerous people from all walks of life; individuals from companies such as the Environment Resources Management, to independent volunteers of a multinational variety.
There was never a more exotic group of approximately 20 volunteers gathered at Sungei Tampines, Singapore. The eyes of many onlookers (runners and dog-walkers) were on us, who were peacefully waiting around at Area 2’s campsite of the Pasir Ris Park. They must have been impressed with our drive to come down all geared up on an early weekend morning!
Kai Scene, our Site Captain from the International Coastal Cleanup arrived at quarter past eight to meet us. After a light briefing, we kicked off our ‘operation cleanup’. Groups of four were efficiently formed after friendly introductions were exchanged. My group consisted of three other students from Tanglin Trust School. Despite no prior acquaintance, we rapidly established a good rapport.
Moving in our designated groups, we were led through a narrow route to the mangrove, a site elaborately ‘decorated’ with trash! Three of us got down to it, voicing out along the way the items we picked from the ground for Pam to note them down on a data sheet.
Below is my lovely team (I am back-facing the camera on the right):
The culprit claiming first place as ‘most viewed on site’ are straws! The shocking amount of 207 straws we picked proves one thing: party-goers at beaches should start taking the initiative in clearing up after themselves. It is your responsibility. Do remember that it only takes a short reckless amount of time to pollute a site home to a bio-diverse community. A used ghost net irresponsibly disposed on the shore causes death of many precious water-thriving animal species.
My environmental volunteer work gives me such satisfaction. All the sweat is worth it. This is my second involvement with the International Coastal Cleanup organisation, and I foresee several more fulfilling activities with them. I will be eagerly looking out for more opportunities to get involved, be it rain or shine.
Thank you for reading my post, and I hope that my enthusiasm will rub off on all you teenagers out there!