Year-Round Coastal Cleanups (YRCC) in 2015 begin!

The annual data-collecting International Coastal Cleanup is conducted in September every year in Singapore and in countries around the world. However, our shores require relief from the burden of marine trash which is deposited all-year round. In response to this are volunteers from schools and corporate groups who conduct Year-Round Coastal Cleanups (YRCC).

Conducting a coastal cleanup at a recreational beach is an eye-opener indeed at any time of the year. You an arrange to do this through NEA’s Seashore Life program or by arrangement with NParks. Do begin your work early – our shoreline cleaners get started at sunrise and will not rely on late-comers to the shore!

Last year, we highlighted these five YRCC efforts amongst the many that took place and we salute them all! Some of these cleanups were assisted by NParks and NEA’s Department of Public Cleanliness, who helped with trash disposal. These agencies are involved in the ICCS annually as well and we thank them both.

  • 15 Feb 2014 – Nature volunteers @ Pulau Semakau [link]
  • 01 Jun 2014 – Earthlink NTU’s Ecoventure @ Tanah Merah 5 [link]
  • 11 Jul 2014 – Nexia TS @ Changi Beach! [link]
  • 09 Aug 2014 – National Day Mangrove Cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang [link]
  • 22 Dec 2014 – Cubic Singapore @ West Coast Beach [link]
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There are four types of beaches (Categories A to D) which a group can tackle – see “Suggestions for Year Round Coastal Cleanups.” YRCCs are especially helpful when conducted on our non-recreational beaches and mangroves which, unlike our recreational beaches, are not cleared of trash on a daily basis. These sites are still host to marine life and every effort helps protect them from the impact of trash.

In preparation for such cleanups, Organisers read the ICCS Guidelines for Organisers and liase with an ICCS Zone Captain, who will go on a joint recce with them, to ensure a safe cleanup is arranged.

YRCCs do not require the use of the Data Cards but to record the number of black trash bags and overall weight of the collection, as this helps us gauge the variation of trash load at a site. Some groups prefer to use the Data Card as it informs and educates volunteers. The trash profile and load variation data provides for a greater understanding of the underlying challenge.

This year, SUTD Green Club claimed the honours for the first YRCC with ICCS.
20150117 SUTD PandanMangrove YRCC

Others are planning YRCCs later on in the year, including the ICCS Otters:

  1. Sat 17 Jan 2015: 8am – SUTD Green Club @ Pandan Mangrove
  2. Fri 30 Jan 2015: ?9am – Olympus Technologies Singapore Pte. Ltd’s Environmental Program (37 volunteers)
  3. Thu 26 Feb 2015: 8am – NUS Ridge View Residential College (GEM1917) @ Tanah Merah 7 (35 students)
  4. Sat 14 Mar 2015: 9am – Bukit Batok Sec School @ Pasir Ris 6 (50 students)
  5. Sat 21 Mar 2015: 4.00pm – 6.00pm – World Water Day Coastal Cleanup @ Pandan Mangrove (ICC Otters; open to public)
  6. Sat 18 Apr 2015: 8.00am – 12.00pm – Earth Day Coastal Cleanup @ Pasir Ris 6 (ICC Otters; open to public)
  7. Sat 23 May 2015: 9am – Bukit Batok Sec School @ Pasir Ris 6 (50 students)
  8. Sat 06 Jun 2015: 8.00am – 12.00pm – World Environment Day Coastal Cleanup @ Tanah Merah 7 (ICC Otters; open to public)
  9. Sat 08 Aug 2015 – National Day Coastal Cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang (ICC Otters; open to public)

There will be more than these, we hope!

The public cleanups organised by ICCS Otters will be publicised on this blog and through the ICCS mailing list. Do sign up with the mailing list to be kept informed – at the top of the webpage at


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Photos from Cubic Singapore, SUTD Greeen Club and Kenneth Pinto, ICCS.

2015’s first coast cleanup recce – Pasir Ris 6 @ North East Zone [07 Feb 2015]

This past Saturday morning (07 Feb 2015) marked the first recce of the year for the North East Zone. Organisers from Bukit Batok Secondary School comprising of teachers Syam Lal Sadanandan and Surjeet Singh with student Azri, met with Zone Captain Yi Yong at Pasir Ris Beach 6 in preparation for their cleanup in March.

Organisers from Bukit Batok Secondary School got in touch with ICCS coordinators late last year with the intention to carry out a cleanup in March. This was a good opportunity to address the high trash load at Pasir Ris Beach 6 which, despite the concerted effort of various groups at the International Coastal Cleanup in Sep 2014, still presented a significant challenge of marine trash.

Where the now dried-up and silted-over stream used to be, near the bottom of the picture

Near the bottom of the picture: the now dried-up and silted-over stream

After four and half months, the small stream at the entrance of the site had disappeared! This could be due to the low rain fall of the past month. Well, organisers need no longer worry about accessing and exiting the site at higher tide levels so there will be greater flexibility with the cleanup schedule.

An area of high trash concentration along the strandline and in the vegetation

A high trash load along the strand line and in the vegetation

Another area of high trash concentration along the beach

Another area of high trash concentration along the beach

Typically, the trash load at Pasir Ris 6 was as high as ever, with the largest trash accumulated along the strandline and in the vegetation. This will prove challenging as the students will face restrictions in their movements and risk of insect bites, so they will have to be careful here. The trash was comprised of the usual suspects – plastic bags, wrappers and bottles, with a few barrels in the mix. A big plastic tub had the organisers’ eyes twinkling as they conspired of ways of utilising it in their school’s beautification project!

Teachers Syam and Surjeet excited with the prospect of turning trash into treasure

Teachers Syam and Surjeet excited with the prospect of turning trash into treasure

The cleanup, scheduled for the 14 Mar 2015, will be an interesting and educational experience for the students of Bukit Batok Secondary School. They have their work cut out for them, so let’s wish them all the best as they do their part in tackling the scourge of marine trash!

And help marine creatures like this horseshoe crab!

Help marine creatures like this horseshoe crab!

By Yang Yi Yong
Zone Captain,
North East Zone,
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore