On 26th of February 2015, 35 students and staff from Ridge View Residential College, National University of Singapore conducted a Chinese New Year Coastal Cleanup at Tanah Merah Beach 7. This date had been carefully picked last December by RVRC lecturer and also ICCS coordinator, N Sivasothi. aka Otterman, who was very pleased with the outcome.
The team worked tirelessly for two hours, and survived attacks by ant colonies and the slashing of wild pandan! The hard work paid off with 386 kg of trash in 43 large bags of trash, including a 50kg giant rope! There were also oil containers, a mountain of styrofoam and lots and lots of plastic bottles dominating the data card which saw moe than 5,000 pieces of marine trash removed forever from Tanah Merah 7.
What a great way to celebrate the Chinese New Year!
Briefing about Tanah Merah and the marine trash challenge by the student’s lecturer, ICCS Coordinator, N. Sivasothi
Several groups, including Professor Anderson fought their way into the wild pandan, tolerating the cuts, to reach marine trash on the high strand line.
Plastic pieces with sharp edges will cause harm to animals if ingested, as it can puncture gastronomical tracts leaving animals to die.
Indomitably tackling a sand-filled drum!
Nature will find a way – on this reclaimed shore, peppered with marine trash, marine life persists – land hermit crabs, carpet anemone and thunder crabs fascinated students.
We saw five hermit crabs and one was nestling on a plastic bag. As hermit crabs grow bigger, they change their shells, changing to larger ones which can protect the retracted body. So don’t pick shells on the beach, you may be depriving a hermit crab a potential home.
A sea anemone was found attached to a plastic bag. This group of students remove it from the plastic bag successfully! Carpet anemone share a mutualistic relationship with single-celled algae known as zooxanthellae. The algae is able to photosynthesise, i.e. produce food from sunlight, and this food is also consumed by the anemone. In turn, the algae receives shelter from the anemone.
Thunder Crab! Legend has it that if you were unfortunate enough to be pinched by this crab, only a clap of thunder will force it to release its pincers and let you go. In reality, contact with the ground and an escape route will persuade the crab to let you go.
To find out more about marine life in Singapore, visit http://www.wildsingapore.com
Weighing the trash and data collection. Spring balances are used to weigh trash bags. The total weight today amounted to 386 kg.
A human chain was formed to transport the trash bags to the Trash Collection Point (TCP), for the NEA contractor to collect and dispose of eventually.
Half of the trash bags load from the morning with more on the way!
Thanks to everyone for their effort on the Chinese New Year coastal cleanup!
The team back at NUS!