Showing our love for Singapore: National Day Coastal Cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang

7 August 2015, Friday — It was the first day of the Jubilee Weekend, and ICCS was down at Lim Chu Kang Beach and Mangrove celebrating National Day in our usual fashion; with a coastal cleanup! Altogether 48 volunteers showed our love for Singapore by removing 749kg of trash in 92 trash bags out of her Lim Chu Kang habitats.

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Northwest Zone Captain Adriane Lee and I arrived on site earlier with the logistics, and did a quick recce before the participants arrived. Trash was abundant on the coastline, with various types of plastics hanging from branches and strewn under the trees.

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Left: Plastic bags, raffia string, and a deflated balloon trashed!
Right: Plastic pieces strewn over the pencil roots of Avicennia sp.

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Our hearts were filled with accomplishment at the sight of a mangrove relieved of trash so early that morning. We transferred trash bags to three Trash Collection Points (TCP) for weighing and formed a chain to transfer the weighed bags to the Trash Disposal Point at the edge of the jetty. This prearranged point with NEA’s Department of Public Cleanliness would be where the contractor would collect later.

Throughout the cleanup, we encountered mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) moults and we used the specimens to introduce these amazing mangrove critters to the cleanup volunteers. I also talked about other cleanup and guiding efforts conducted by NUS Toddycats. ICCS Coordinator Sivasothi aka Otterman rounded up the session with the conservation and research history of this site, the importance our remaining mangrove patches and the value of the morning’s effort at relieving the site of impactful trash.

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Left: Talking about mangrove horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) using moults we found. Right: Cleanup volunteers listening intently to Sivasothi’s stories about Mandai and Lim Chu Kang mangroves in the 80’s and 90’s and how as an NUS undergraduate in the 80’s, he was was dismayed by the phenomenal amount of pollution there.

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Otterman’s large Singapore Flag had disappeared this year – so the red and white shirted participants arranged themselves into a flag!

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Do you see the flag?

Thank you to everyone for a sensitive and effective cleanup at Lim Chu Kang, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our nation’s 50th birthday!

Photos on Flickr.

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