I joined the Tanah Merah Zone Captain, Hwang Wei Song and his deputy, Ezra Two during their recce trip of non-recreational beaches in their zone. We combed the beaches of Tanah Merah Sites 1-9 which spanned 4.31 kilometres, over two consecutive Sundays in May.
Tanah Merah Sites 7-9 (5th May 2013: midday (1.03 meter tide at 1:45pm) and Tanah Merah Sites 1-6 (12th May 2013: evening, 1.26 meter tide at 6:31)
Increased trash load and erosion
There was an overall increase in trash deposits (categorised as a medium-high trash load) from TM sites 1 to 9. As we waded through the sea of trash, we were careful to watch our every step as we noticed the rusty nails embedded in discarded wood. Plastics were abundant and there was also countless glass shards lying around.
As such, we can never stress enough the importance of wearing covered shoes, wearing thick gloves, and watching where you step and what you pick up during beach cleanups. Never work hastily either.
We observed significant coastal erosion at TM sites 5 and 6. When conducting their own site recces closer to the cleanup date, organisers should take note of uprooted trees, or trees with exposed roots, as they could pose as a safety hazard during the September cleanup activity.
Due to construction activity at sites TM8 and TM9, these sites will be closed this year. The presence of heavy machinery in the vicinity of the access point poses a safety issue and the main road is dominated by heavy vehicle traffic and very poor air quality. This makes the frequent crossing and/or extended waiting undesirable. So the area is unsuitable to work in at the present time. We will keep an eye to see if this status changes.
Recce trips are important!
Tanah Merah Organisers should conduct a risk assessment during the scheduled recce trip on Saturday, 27 Jul 2013: 8am-12pm. Do ask your zone captains questions during your recce trip and during the ICCS Workshop . A safe cleanup is a priority in the ICCS program.
We hope to see you then!
The recce report by Zone Captains is available here: http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/recces/
See Ria Tan’s post about marine life offshore of TM7 at Wild Shores of Singapore.