Our smooth-coated otters spark an excitement about our marine lfie!

In our series of talks about marine life and marine litter, we introduce some prominent species along our coasts, both vertebrate and invertebrate. This is so Singaporeans appreciate a value of coastal cleanups – make habitats more favourable for our marine life.

The iconic marine animal which sparks excitement in the crowd are smooth-coated otters. Both adults and children gasp at the photos and videos which many dedicated photographers have provided. Children are dramatic, though, they widen their eyes and scream in excitement!

Let’s hope that everyone can do their part in keeping Singapore a clean and green place for the otters and other marine animals to live in!

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Students from the Dulwich College watch a video by NParks “Kaya the Otter finds a new home”.

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Primary 5 students from CHIJ Kellock watch a video on the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio 5 otter family!

To see more photos and videos of Singapore otters, see OtterWatch.

What Happens After The Bin? (Plastic Recycling)

An infographic from the Good Guide to Recycling of the process of recycling and the characteristic of these plastics: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polycarbonate (PC).

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Sat 15 Oct 2016: Join NUS Toddycats and friends @ Sungei Mandai Kecil mangrove cleanup

Dear Friends,

Sungei Mandai Kecil mangrove is an important, and at present, an unprotected mangrove forest in Singapore. It is part of the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat, a 15.4 hectare patch of mangrove swamp located along the northwestern coast of Singapore. Read more about it’s significance on the 2013 workshop storify here.

On Sat 15 October 2016, pending permission from SLA/PCG, NUS Toddycats and friends are conducting a coastal cleanup in the back mangrove there.

This site is difficult to work in because of the soft terrain. The main bulk of trash is trapped amidst the vegetation of the back mangrove which is dense and has many thorny plants and is hard to get to in the undergrowth. It will require a lot of patience to remove. Previous cleanups at Sungei Mandai Kecil were small and only conducted in 1997 and 2014. Large amounts of trash has accumulated since. We will work sensitively in small teams to protect the vegetation, seedlings and roots in order to prevent excess impact.

We are calling out to experienced and dedicated coastal cleanups volunteers to join us on this mission!
Saturday 15 October 2016: 8.00am – 11.00am
Meeting Point: The gate at the former Sungei Mandai Kecil road, off Woodlands Road

Getting there
Map: http://tinyurl.com/ICCS2016SMKmap
By bus: from Kranji MRT station, take buses 160, 170, 178 and alight opposite Chartered Semi-C Building (Bus stop ID: 460510).
Driving: There is no parking space so drivers please park at Woodlands Town Centre and walk 15 minutes to the meeting point.

Packing list

  • 1.5 litres of drinking water (minimum)
  • Wear hard-soled, high-cut booties.
  • Light pants and a light long sleeves top (arm coolers) will protect you from insect bites and scratches from vegetation.
  • Inset repellent
  • A cap and sunblock
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Towel, to wipe clean
  • Additional water, to clean up with
  • A change of clothes – you will get muddy
  • Waterproof your belongings
  • Pack minimally

To join us, please register at: http://tinyurl.com/iccs-smk2016

Thank you for your interest in protecting the environment!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi

Dengue/Zika advisory for ICCS Organisers, 02 Sep 2016

Dear Organisers,

here is an advisory about dengue and zika:

The urban mosquito Aedes aegypti is responsible for dengue and zika in Singapore. There have been more than 11,000 cases of dengue with seven deaths so far this year and we expect to see the number of cases increase. The detection of the zika virus, though less widespread, is harder to detect from symptoms and is currently appears to be on the increase.

Singaporeans can continue with their daily activity but must take precautions:

  • Be informed about dengue (NEA Guidelines) and Zika (MOH page) share the information
  • Do the 10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipeout at home and at the workplace (NEA webpage)
  • Avoid dengue clusters where possible (check the NEA map and list) as well as zika affected areas and areas of concern (check recent news releases)
  • Prevent mosquito bites through:
    • i) protective dressing which covers exposed skin,
    • ii) the correct application of insect repellents with DEET (NEA webpage)
    • and iii) the use of mosquito nets while sleeping.

Organisers participating in the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore have cleanup dates over three weekends in September. Our cleanup sites do not overlap dengue hotspots, are not in affected areas of the Zika outbreak so far, and do not take place at the typical feeding time of A. aegypti, i.e. at dusk and dawn. Still, we are monitoring the situation closely and will alert you if there is cause for concern.

Our advise to Organisers is the following:

  1. Prevent – advise your participants to take preventive action through protective dressing and appropriate application of insect repellent once you leave the house. Check the DEET concentration and reapply the repellent as needed, especially if you perspire profusely.
  2. Support – Have an additional supply of insect repellent available for volunteers in case they do not have their own supply.
  3. Aware – Monitor news release of dengue hotspots and new cases of Zika though the NEA newsroom and local news agencies (e.g. Straits Times Zika microsite).
  4. Decide – If your cleanup site is in an affected area, call off your cleanup immediately; do not hesitate, and inform your zone captain.

Monitoring
Zone Captains will alert you if any critical information is released. Thus far, we have cancelled one cleanup site at Kranji East (03 Sep 2016) which was near an area of concern for Zika, and we are monitoring the status at another site at Kranji Bund (17 Sep 2016).

Priority: Safety!
Safety is a priority for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and participation in the coastal cleanup is entirely voluntary. We encourage all participants and Organisers to withdraw at any point that they feel uncomfortable with proceeding with a cleanup. It is better to err on the side of caution.

Have safe cleanup everyone!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
c/o Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore