ICCS Zone Captains plan for next week’s workshop

Zone Captains are great at the operational procedures necessary to organise an International Coastal Cleanup event. During the ICCS Workshops in July, they clarify burning questions Organisers ask in detail. this is also a time when they meet their Zone Captains with whom they will conduct recce in the weeks ahead before September.

This year the invitation emphasised new Organisers, to keep the number of participants low enough to ensure adequate attention for those who attend the sessions. Right now we have less than 12 Organisers per session, with 4-6 Zone Captains in attendance as instructors.

ICCS2014 Workshop_ Instructor preparation - Google Sheets

For the first time this year, ICCS Zone Captains will be conducting the workshop in its entirety. Three teams have formed to cater to three days of workshops. They have a central syllabus but will plot a lively agenda for each day. New ideas have emerged to enhance communication and I am looking forward to seeing the new techniques to enhance Organiser preparation for a safe and efficient cleanup this year!






Album on Flickr.

Keep Our Waterways Clean (NEA video, 2013)

NEA produced this short video on littering in waterways, as part of the Keep Singapore Clean publicity drive last year. An ICCS volunteer and Organiser contributed to the video as did veteran ICCS Organiser and local NGO Waterways Watch Society and other users of our waterways. I thought it turned out really well.

“We may think that one piece of litter doesn’t make much of a difference. But every bit adds up and a mess can accumulate, marring the beautiful environment, polluting our waterways and endangering the wildlife that resides there. Let’s not let that happen.”

This is one of three videos we suggest Organisers share with their volunteers, along with The Midway Trailer and Jim Tooney’s “Marine Litter in two minutes” video.

“Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry”

-Valuing plastic_ the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry-2014Valuing plasticsF.pdf (page 1 of 116)

“Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” is a publication on the valuation of plastic that allows us, for the first time, to put a figure on the costs companies would incur if the damage caused by waste plastic was included in their accounting.”

“The report highlights the urgent need for businesses to measure, manage and disclose information on their annual use and disposal of plastic, as many companies already do with carbon emissions. It also provides a series of recommendations for companies that are designed to help ensure a sustainable future for plastic.”

“It also provides a series of recommendations for companies that are designed to help ensure a sustainable future for plastic.”

Read the original report at http://www.unep.org/pdf/ValuingPlastic/ and the CNN report, “U.N. report: Our oceans are trashed with plastic,” by by Casey Tolan. CNN, 24 Jun 2014.

“Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat” – Grace Chua in The Straits Times, 24 Jun 2014

“Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat” – Grace Chua in The Straits Times, 24 Jun 2014 [pdf]

Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat AsiaOne Asian Opinions News

Although the relationship between a microbead’s size and its environmental impact has not been fully studied, Associate Professor Obbard says studies done with his students a decade apart have found that this pollution is present, and increasing, all over Singapore.
Plastic particles were detected in beach sediment at four of seven beaches – St John’s Island, Pasir Ris, East Coast Park and Kallang River, in seawater at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club and Kranji, and in all seven mangrove habitats sampled at Berlayar Creek, Sungei Buloh, Lim Chu Kang and Pasir Ris.
While little work has been done on what level of microplastic might be hazardous, scientists are concerned because it is so widespread.

See more at AsiaOne.

John Kerry (US State Dept) asks, “What will you do to help protect the ocean?”

John Kerry of the US State Department on human threat on our oceans and how we might protect it:

From the ourocean2014.state.gov webpage:

“Our ocean today is at grave risk – and it’s not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Harmful fishing practices, even illegal fishing; giant garbage patches; hundreds of dead zones; and rising carbon dioxide levels – all of it threatens life under the sea. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Governments, communities, and individuals can act now to reverse these trends. We can protect the ocean if we all start treating it like ‘our ocean.’”

‘The US Department of State will host the “Our Ocean” Conference on 16 & 17 June (#OurOcean2014). Invited individuals, experts, practitioners, advocates, lawmakers, and the international ocean and foreign policy communities will gather lessons learned, share the best science, offer unique perspectives, and demonstrate effective action.

They aim to chart a way forward, working individually and together, to protect “Our Ocean.”’

The conference will be accessible on the internet.

They add, “wherever you live, you can help in some way. We can make a healthier ocean, for this generation and those to come.”
And ask. “What will you do to help protect our ocean?

“Show your support and tell others how you’ll make this commitment…”

  • I will let my national and local leaders know that protecting our ocean is important to me.
  • I will ask whether my seafood has been caught in a sustainable manner.
  • I will not eat shark fin soup.
  • I will not throw trash into our ocean or waterways.
  • I will volunteer at least one day a year to help clean our waterways or beaches.

Visit ourocean2014.state.gov/#s-action to make your pledge and help raise awareness of the conference and the awareness of marine pollution,sustainable fisheries and ocean acidification by joining the Thunderclap!

Our Ocean

Earthlink NTU’s Ecoventure 2014 Year-Round Coastal Cleanup at Tanah Merah 5

Vivian Koh from Earthlink NTU’s Ecoventure 2014 team reports:

  • Overall weight of trash collected: 96.14kg
  • Manpower: 15 people
  • Distance: est. 200m
  • Time taken: 1hr
  • Common items: plastic cups, cigarette butt, styrofoam bits
  • Unexpected items: thick long ropes, long pipe, jerry can

On 1st June 2014, the Ecoventure 2014 team from Earthlink NTU visited Tanah Merah Beach 5 to conduct a Year-Round Coastal Cleanup (YRCC). During the low tide, we combed the site, picking up trash as small as cigarette butts to a thick long rope 10kg in weight.

The Ecoventure project has worked to assist a community aboard while instilling environmental awareness in participants in Singapore since the establishment of Earthlink NTU in 1993. The Ecoventure 2014 team will embark on our youth expedition programme for an environmental workshop in Laos this June.

Prior to our overseas visit, this coastal cleanup gives us an opportunity to play part in caring for the environment and in the process, raise out awareness about environmental issues. It will also get us thinking about adaptable and sustainable solutions as we look about us during our trip.

We realised that with regards to anthropogenic waste, prevention is better than cure – improper disposal of waste contributes greatly to the problem of marine trash. Procrastination increases the effort required for cleanup – waste gets buried under sand and rocks over time and it is important that we exercise responsibility in provide a clean environment for everyone to enjoy.

Picking up the trash diligently
20140601tm5 01

The long pipe which we hauled from the coastline
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One of the thick ropes which we found
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An insight to the types of trash collected
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20140601tm5 05

The green plastic bag which we managed to dislodge from the rocks
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Getting the trash out from the sand
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Weighing the thick rope
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Ecoventure 2014 team together with the trash collected
20140601a NTU Earthlink at TM5

Our final shot, together with Hannah, the Zone Captain for Tanah Merah
20140601b NTU Earthlink at TM5

ICCS in Sep 2014: 3,131 volunteers, 64 organisations, 57 coastal sites – so far!

As of now, 64 organisations have registered 3,131 volunteers to collect count, categorise and remove marine trash from 57 coastal sites around Singapore for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore on or close to Saturday 13th September 2014.

Of the registered Organisations, 41% are from schools (including tertiary), 31% are corporate groups, 20% are NGO or volunteer groups and 8% are government entities.

Thanks for caring for the environment.

Next: our Workshop in July!

See the ICCS Status page for details.

  1. Advantest Singapore Pte Ltd
  2. Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association Singapore
  4. Beatty Beaver Scout Group
  5. Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd
  6. BP Maritime Services Singapore Pte Ltd
  7. Brown University Alumni
  8. College of Alice and Peter Tan
  9. Compassvale Sec. School
  10. Crescent Girls’ School
  11. Earthlink NTU
  12. Environmental Resources Management
  13. FMC Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd
  14. HGST Singapore Pte. Ltd.
  15. Hougang Secondary School
  16. Hypertherm (S) Pte Ltd
  18. IRAS
  19. Jurong Secondary School
  20. Jurong Spring CC Youth Executive Committee
  21. Land Transportation Authority
  22. Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore
  23. Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd
  24. MOE, Bedok South Secondary School
  25. MOM
  26. Nanyang Girls’ High School
  27. Nanyang Polyechnic GEO Council
  28. National University Of Singapore Environmental Science and Engineering Students’ Club
  29. Nature Society (Singapore)
  30. Naval Base Secondary School
  31. North Vista Secondary School
  32. Northland Primary School
  33. Northvista Secondary
  34. NPS International School
  35. NUS BES ENV2101 Class
  36. NUS High School of Math and Science
  37. NUS USP
  38. OFS (overseas family school)
  39. Oil Spill Response Limited
  40. Oscar & Friends
  41. Pacific Refreshments Pte Ltd
  42. People’s Association
  43. Queensway Secondary School
  44. Raffles Girls’ School
  45. Raffles Museum Toddycats
  46. Red Circle Helpline
  47. Renesas
  48. Republic Polytechnic
  49. SATO Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
  50. Sentosa Development Corporate
  51. ShinnyoEn Singapore
  52. Singapore American School
  53. Singapore Pools
  54. Spectra Secondary School
  55. ST Dynamics
  56. Starbucks Coffee Singapore
  57. Sukyo Mahikari Singapore
  58. Tata Consultancy Services
  59. Temasek Polytechnic
  60. The Fox Scout Group
  61. Waterways Watch Society
  62. Wildlife Reserves Singapore
  63. Woodlands Ring Secondary School
  64. YTL PowerSeraya Pte Ltd