The ICCS Briefing on 25 Aug 2012 – the prelude to the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2012!

Every year, a fortnight before the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) commences, an ICCS Briefing is conducted for Site Buddies, Independents and members of the public interested in marine life and the objectives of coastal cleanups.

This year, 82 volunteers and members of public left the cosy comfort of their beds to attend the briefing conducted by ICCS Coordinator, N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman who welcomed them with great enthusiasm!

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During the briefing, Siva highlighted and showcased Singapore’s marine wildlife that persist amidst our battered shores. The crowd was wowed by videos and images of baby turtles, dolphins, dugongs, crocodiles and otters. They piqued the participants’ interest and captured everyone’s attention.


After the introduction of Singapore’s marine wildlife, Siva talked about the threats that these aquatic denizens face and gave special attention to marine trash! Single-use plastics, carelessly discarded, end up in aquatic environments and dominate the shores. This affects the survival of many marine organisms which might mistake the fragments as food, eg. marine turtles mistakenly consume clear plastic and exploded balloons as jellyfish and even the albatross living far from humans, are affected.

An overview of cleanup methods prepared Organisers and Site Buddies for the cleanup and data collection processes.

Siva ended the session with suggestions about how each of us can help in a variety of ways, inspiring everyone to make a difference!


With the briefing over, volunteers stepped forward to have a chat with Siva and the ICCS Otters team. Many of them were old friends, such as Martha Began of Singapore American School and her students! New faces sought advice from their respective Zone Captains and discussed their cleanup sites. This face to face time is a welcome resource for Organisers.


It was lovely to see the energy and interaction in the room! Everyone was enthusiastic and we hoped they were glad to learn about Singapore surviving marine wildlife and will look forward to a safe, efficient and green cleanup!

Have a great ICCS 2012 everyone!

Year-Round Cleanup – Nestle R&D Singapore team-building coastal cleanup exercise spends three hours at ECP (16th July 2012)

While we gear up for the annual International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, it is good to be reminded that year-round cleanups of our shores can and should be conducted for at any time of the year.

Groups may do this for a variety of reasons – to help relieve the marine environment of the its burden of trash, introduce colleagues to beach cleanups or even as part of a team-building exercise.

In July the year, Nestle R&D Singapore Team successfully conducted a year-round beach cleanup at East Coast Park as part of their team-building session in the afternoon of Monday, 16th July 2012.


Ignoring the rain, the team of 17 people worked hard to clear the trash off East Coast Park beach, a heavily utilised public beach for THREE hours! We really love how enthusiastic everyone looks in picking up inorganic trash found near the beach!


Check out the smiles on the volunteers’ faces! I am sure everyone had lots of fun during the activity as well!


The day’s effort amounted to 90kg of trash from a 3 – 4 km stretch of East Coast Park. The team identified some unusual items – sacks, car batteries and even a saw lying on the beach.

However, the bulk of the trash on the shore were single-use plastic items – food containers, plastic bottles and styrofoam. These items are commonly found on our shores and at beaches like these, are usually left behind by recreational users. They feature on the  top 10 list of items found on our coastline every year and is a strong reminder about the ordinary ways in which we pollute the sea.


Lovely job, Nestle R&D Singapore! It’s a good example for other groups who might be thinking about what to do. We appreciate your effort in caring of the environment and making our shores a better place for its denizens!

Special thanks to Karmela Anna Keh for keeping us updated and arranging to share photos of the cleanup with us!

Independent Volunteers – registration is now open for coastal cleanups on Sat 29 Sep 2012!

Dear Independents,

I am pleased to inform you that registration for Independent Volunteers is now open at:

Volunteers who want to contribute to the protection of the marine environment through ICCS but who do not have a group or organisation, are invited to sign up as Independent Volunteers. .

This year we will work at sites requiring help on Saturday 29th September 2012 from 2.00pm – 6.00pm in conjunction with the National Volunteer and Philanthrophy Centre (NVPC).

This date and time ail see a suitable tide at which to work safely and efficiently.

The sites are at:

  1. Pasir Ris 6
  2. Tanah Merah 9
  3. Sungei Ubin, Pulau Ubin (note you have to bear the $5 bumboat fare on your own

Be sure to come for the ICCS Briefing too! See

Thank you for interest in protecting the environment!



N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore


Registration for the ICCS Briefing is now open!

The ICCS Briefing is meant to inform and prepare Site Buddies, Organiser’s assistants and Independent sign-ups who are participating in and assisting with the International Coastal Cleanup. The talk is suitable for the public interested to learn about marine life in Singapore, the problems of marine trash and how we combat it.

All are welcome for this public lecture.

The ICCS Briefing will be held on Saturday 25 August 2012: 9.00am to 12.00pm at the National University of Singapore, LT26.

Please read the details and register through the link at:

I discuss marine life in Singapore, the impact of marine trash, why we collect data, what the data tells us, changes in daily living to reduce impact on our oceans, what happens on the day of the cleanup, how to be safe, how to report the data and share news and photos.

You will also meet your Zone and Site Captains at the Briefing. We look forward to meeting you there.



N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore


“Marine Life & Trash in our Seas” Talk for first cohort of Frontier Primary School

We were approached by an enthusiastic Mr Zainal Haron from the new Frontier Primary School who wanted to expose their pioneer batch of students to environmental issues at a young age. The school had only just accepted their first batch of 240 primary one students this year and they even have their own blog!

Frontier Pri School- Brand new school which was opened in 2012 (Photo by Jocelyne Sze)

Luckily for us, Jocelyne Sze, ICCS Manpower Captain, who was in-between trips was back in Singapore and managed to conduct the 8am morning assembly talk on 6th August 2012, Monday.

Jocelyne introduced many local marine wildlife to the children and made them realize that several of the marine organisms seen in movies (eg. Nemo) and cartoons (Spongebob and Patrick) can also be found in Singapore. She also showed photos and videos of our more charismatic animals like turtles, dolphins, otters and even monitor lizards which captured their attention.

At the end of the talk, Jocelyne told the students how they can make a difference to the marine environment such as reusable bottles as their water bottles instead of disposable ones.

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We all have our reuseable bottles, what about you? (Photo taken by staff of Frontier Pri School)

Lastly, in order to encourage interaction, she brought along some of her very own aquatic soft toys to get students to participate in an animal ID quiz and if they could be found in Singapore! The students looked like they had great fun learning about Singapore’s marine biodiversity, threats and how they can help to reduce marine trash!

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The kids enjoyed the quiz (Photo taken by staff of Frontier Pri School)

Well done Jocelyne! For more details, you can read all about her impressions of her  journey to the West in her blog!

Pre-National Day Cleanup 2012 @ Lim Chu Kang Mangrove

Volunteers cleared 669kg of marine trash from Lim Chu Kang mangrove in 83 trash bags on Saturday. This is the fifth year we have conducted the cleanup in celebration of National Day.

This year, the volunteers responded with only a week’s notification and were well prepared. When we found little debris on the sandbank, we were able to fan into the mangrove proper and clear recent and embedded trash from the mud lobster mount system. This is best done sensitively but a small group so I was really pleased things turned out so well!

“Celebrating National Day in Lim Chu Kang mangroves!” By Jocelyne Sze, Nature rambles, 09 Aug 2012 [link

“ICCS Pre-National Day coastal cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang mangrove!” Purple Mangrove, 05 Aug 2012 [link]

Call to action on the ICCS News Blog,

“Equipment check – The Flag,” by N. Sivasothi. Otterman Speaks, 01 Aug 2012 [link]

Photo albums