In June 2011, I conducted a recce with NParks staff at Pulau Serangoon (Coney Island) for sightings of the smooth-coated otter and for ICCS. Well there is trash there, and a lot of it is beyond the highest high water spring tide level and in the mangrove.
However, the access way from the inland road to the shore are trails through a casuarina forest. This typically undulating terrain and is destined to snap an ankle or two especially when carrying trash out from the shore to the trash disposal site. So sadly, it is too harzadous to send volunteers into the area.
So no joy for a coastal cleanup at Pulau Serangoon until we solve that problem. I have been considering a beach operation, but that will require some work to setup. For now instead, I have focused on setting up Lim Chu Kang East Mangrove and Kranji East Mangrove sites. Both these mangrove sites in the north-west typically have a very high trash load and require a lot of work to setup a safe and regular cleanup operation.
It’s been more than two years since the Pulau Serangoon recce and last week, Ivan Kwan from NParks shared photos from a visit there. He reported that the trash is still there and the shores are calling out to us for help.
You are not forgotten, marine life of Pulau Serangoon! I will keep looking out for an Organiser, a method and a band of volunteers capable enough for this site.
Meanwhile, Ivan’s photos serves as a reminder of the burden of marine trash, and you can view more in the Flickr album.
If you feel keen to do something about this, and have the field experience, do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exam marking is almost over and we can chat during the monsoon and plan to recce the site in the first quarter of next year. No dramatics are required, slow and steady work over several years will have a miraculous effect.