Early marine trash numbers and effort from four zones

We have eight zones in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2013 and by Tuesday morning, the data submissions from four zones are complete and have been published with details at iccs-status.rafflesmuseum.net.

This is testament to the efficiency of the Organisers who put in the effort to send us consolidated data immediately after the cleanup so that we can work on it over the weekend.

While these are pre-verification numbers, the collated figures begin to give you some sense of the effort put in by volunteers:

  • ICCS East Coast Zone: 563 volunteers cleared 38,918 items weighing 629kg in 100 trash bags over 6.7km [link]
  • ICCS Chek Jawa Zone: 155 volunteers cleared 6,121 items weighing 1.046 tonnes in 150 trash bags over 590m [link]
  • ICCS South Zone: 235 volunteers cleared 4,607 items weighing 1.341 tonnes in 266 trash bags over 2.765km [link]
  • ICCS North West Zone: 513 volunteers cleared 23,171 items weighing 3.895 tonnes in 423 trash bags over 1.075km [link]

Thus far, for the four completed zones (representing about half the participants), 1,466 volunteers categorised 72,817 items of marine trash weighing 6,911kg in 939 trash bags, covering s distance of 11,130 metres.

Meanwhile, 18 photo albums have been published on Flickr in the ICCS2013 Collection.


International Coastal Cleanup Singapore – status, data and photos up on the web!

The scheduled day for the International Coastal Cleanup around the planet was the third Saturday of September – yesterday, 21 September 2013. Most of our sites around Singapore were busy and only a few organisations executing their cleanups earlier or later.

Zone and Site Captains hit the shores to support or manage sites around the island. This is the result of work since the second quarter of the year and very much anticipated!

With the actually cleanups completed, the focus then shifts to ensuring the data which volunteers recorded is compiled, represented, and readied for submission.

We try to do this as quickly as possible after the cleanup to minimise subsequent work for the Organisers, and also for the volunteer coordinators who are engulfed by our day jobs when the weekend is up! Although we want to do this quickly, accuracy is more important.

We returned to the lab at the National University of Singapore to wash gloves and hunker down to process data yesterday afternoon. The data submissions by Organisers came in fast and furious by email, which was lovely to see.

Gmail - ICCS

The data submission rate was not as good as previous years. By Sunday morning, we are still awaiting data from a several sites in our eight zones:

  1. Pulau Ubin West – data not in yet
  2. North East – 5 sites left
  3. Changi – 4 sites left
  4. Pulau Ubin – 3 sites
  5. South – 2 sites left
  6. North West – 1 site left
  7. Tanah Merah – 1 site left
  8. East Coast – all in!

We’ll work with Organisers to improve this next year. Maybe an easier data submission form – we have been using an Excel submission form for more than a decade – form reports are not as good but new options have emerged.

Meanwhile Zone Captains are following up with Organisers.

As the data is compiled, we can observe the variation between registered numbers and the actual turnout of volunteers. This helps us estimate how much we can increase the registered site capacity, as actual numbers are often (but not always) less than registered numbers.

ICCS 2013

The ICCS Status page (iccs-status.rafflesmuseum.net) now also tracks if Organisers have submitted their cleanup data and if we have processed and published this data.

This is our current priority.

We had a brief hiccup yesterday afternoon as NUS servers were down for some exercise. Thankfully we were able to resume publishing in the evening. Then we will ask Organisers to check if their data is represented correctly.

As results are published, links go live in the results page at coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/results/2013

21st International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

This is a simple index page which links to the data reports for each site. Data reports are generated per Organisation, per site, per zone as a total for Singapore.

See the site results for Lim Chu Kang East mangrove below, which compiles data from four Organisations over two days of cleanups.


Also streaming in are photos. These are hosted on a Flickr Pro album after following a file-renaming and tagging protocol. We want for anyone to be able to figure out a photo’s location and origins in future without having to consult us, so this is really useful.

The Zone Captains contribute the first albums from their sites and other albums are submitted by Organisers. It is lovely to flip past the years to see old friends but even more is achieved – we use the photos for reports, blog posts and to orientate new Organisers to the site in future years.

Collection: ICCS2013

Zone Captains will write blog posts about their sites which do more to inform and acknowledge. These posts are referred to during reports and site analyses. I hope we will see some blog posts emerge beyond the volunteer coordinators – Facebook posts reach friends effectively but are unavailable to others and will be lost from the newsfeed within days.

The documentation of the experience, whether it be data, photos or blog posts, is critical. It enhances the experience, provides tools to better understand the processes and situation. The material importantly supports downstream initiatives and this effort ensures a significant resource is available to anyone.

While the work continued into the night, it was nice to see news of cleanups in other parts of the planet emerge on twitter. A concerted effort around the globe to battle the curse of marine litter. A message to amplify beyond the morning of the cleanup.


THREE DAYS to the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore!

The big push to the shores to count, categorise and collect marine trash off Singapore shores have begun!

Some 3,500 volunteers from more than 70 organisations, groups and institutions participate this year.

Some Organisers have scheduled cleanups ahead of the 21st September date due to scheduling conflicts and we have begun receiving their data and photographs!

Meanwhile Organisers are feeling the build up to Saturday and a lot of final preparatory work is being conducted. Questions are being asked at a high volume and lightning pace as they remind themselves of information from the documents they read, procedures they learnt at the workshop and ideas they encountered during the recce.

Well, I have managed to hammer that inbox into submission, finally!

Tip of the iceberg of >70 Organisations

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore: Zones & Sites - Google Maps

Calling Independents – battle marine trash at Kranji East mangrove with us!

On Sat 21 Sep 2013, more than three thousand volunteers will head to shoreline led by their Organisers to battle marine trash. Zone Captains will work with them at various sites around Singapore.

What will people without an Organisation to follow do? Well, we call you “Independents” – people without a group who are motivated enough to come down do your bit for the planet.

Well this year, you can join us in the North West of Singapore, where we will are assembling a team to tackle a very tough site this year – Kranji East mangrove.

This is a tough site for a few reasons:

  1. The trash load is high
  2. There are lots of heavy, bulky items.
  3. We have to carry all that trash up a slope.
  4. We have then have to move the load to the Trash Dispoal Point.

Several groups will be on hand that day:

  1. “Independents”
  2. FMC Technologies Singapore
  3. North Vista Secondary ODAC
  4. Jurong Secondary School
  5. NUS Biodiversity Crew
  6. Raffles Museum Toddycats

It is important that you do the following:

  1. Read the Advise to Participants on the ICCS Webpage first.
  2. Then sign up at tinyurl.com/iccs-kranjieastform.

We need as many experienced and dependable hands as possible at this site, so do join us!


Sivasothi aka Otterman
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore,