Registration for Organisers opens for the 26th International Coastal Cleanup Singapore!

Announcement – ICCS 2017 Registration for Organisers is now open, with results of Site Allocation to be released in early-May, end-May and end-Jun 2017.

Greetings Organisers!

The International Coastal Cleanup is coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington DC, USA. Every the third Saturday of September, volunteers around the world rise up with the sun to head out to conduct a cleanup at shores and waterways with a difference – in this programme, they collect, categorise, record and remove trash, and have done so since 1986!

In Singapore, ICC Organisers have facilitated the contribution of thousands of volunteers to the International Coastal Cleanup program in Singapore since 1992. It is the 26th year of ICCS in 2017, and once again we welcome Organisers to lead volunteers to participate in this meaningful activity!

Dates and tides
Sites difficulty and recce reports can be reviewed at sites.coastalcleanupsingapore.org. Do review the evaluation of the site and examine photos and results from previous years to prepare yourself.

New Organisers can familiarise themselves with the operational needs of organising a cleanup at at the Organiser’s Page here.

Mark the dates – Sat 09 Sep 2017 (Mangroves) & Sat 23 Sep 2017 (Beaches)

The tidal heights in Singapore (Sembawang) are:

  • Sat 09 2017: 0800 – 0.6m; 0900 – 1.0m
  • Sat 23 Sep 2017: 0800 – 0.8m; 0900 – 1.2m

Mangrove and beach cleanups will be held two weeks apart to allow mangrove workers a wider area of access at their sites. Beach cleanups on the 9th of September should preferably begin by 8.00am as usual, for the tide rises to 2.5 meters by midday.

Registration – Organisers can now register your groups for participation in September’s data gathering cleanup. Indicate your preferred sites and dates here.

ICCS map

Site Allocations Exercise I – III

The ICCS team will conduct Site Allocations Exercises based on the Organiser’s experience with ICCS, earliness of registration, familiarity with the site, volunteer preparation, and site difficulty. The results of these exercises will be announced at early-May, end-May and end-June and listed at status.coastalcleanupsingapore.org.

Registration will be closed thereafter.

ICCS2014-SAX.jpg

 

Workshops for Organisers in July

The workshop will conducted by the Zone Captains at NUS and are meant for Organisers and their assistants only. The workshop is critical for new organisers but also useful to veterans to participate and anyone who needs help in reviewing the site recce and safety assessment checklist.

There will be three small group evening sessions for you to chose from on Fri 7th July, Fri 14th July or Fri 21st July 2017. Simply indicate your intent during registration and we will confirm your attendance later. If July is inconvenient, indicate your available period and your Zone Captains will try to arrange a quick catchup session with you another time.

ICCS2016_Organiser_Workshop

 

Year-round coastal cleanups (YRCC)

You can also organize cleanups at any other time of the year if you wish – numerous groups have been making a difference this way at non-recreational sites throughout the year. Please see Year-Round Coastal Cleanup guidelines, and contact us accordingly.

YRCC2016-SWWD_640x480.jpeg

 

What about individual participation?

“Independents” are a highly valuable community of motivated individuals who sign up independently to participate in cleanups organised by ICCS. To be kept notified, join the mailing list by sending an empty email to iccs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. This low volume list has less than 10 emails annually. Or keep a lookout for announcements of cleanups here.

Thank you for your interest in caring for the environment!

N. Sivasothi

Coordinator,
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Job: Full-time Research Assistant – NUS-NParks Marine Debris Project (apply by 15 Nov 2016)

The full-time Research Assistant will manage the NUS-NParks Marine Debris project which includes desktop and field research, data mining, analysis and establishment of a database and management of an education programme including workshops.

Apply for the position at JobsBANK.

The job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Literature review to establish, from published works and existing data, a baseline assessment of the current status of marine debris in Singapore
  • Design and conduct experiments and field surveys to document and monitor marine debris
  • Data management, integration, synthesis and analysis
  • Establish a data submission and sharing mechanism
  • Develop an integrated national citizen science programme to monitor marine debris
  • Develop educational resources
  • Prepare and conduct workshop to build capacity and facilitate information-sharing
  • Draft reports, recommendations and publications
  • Organise a conference at the end of the project
  • Report to and work with the principal investigator and project manager

Job Requirements:
Essential

  • An undergraduate degree in Sciences/Biology/Environmental Studies or a biology-related field
  • Familiar with literature review and research
  • Excellent data management and analysis skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and able to work with different groups of people
  • Some experience with volunteer work in nature or environment projects
  • Highly organised and proactive
  • Able to work independently and meet deadlines

Desirable

  • A B.Sc. (Hons) degree with experience in biology or ecology research
  • Have good knowledge and experience on marine debris and micro-plastics
  • Proficient in field surveys and monitoring of marine debris
  • Familiar with citizen science programmes
  • Excellent in interacting with local agencies and groups
  • Experience in organising workshops and conferences

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

Haze Advisory for ICCS 2016 Organisers, 31 Aug 2016

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore email to the 85 Organisers of the 25th ICCS 2016: the Haze Advisory for Organisers (31 Aug 2016), advice to monitor Zika outbreak sites through NEA News Releases and a reminder of the SOP – to reiterate to volunteers the Advice for Participants just before the cleanup.

Dear Organisers,

This is an advisory about the haze situation in Singapore in relation to your coastal cleanup event. This is for Organisers without formal organisational guidelines and who require advice about how to respond to the haze.

Note: Use NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings at haze.gov.sg (and not the 24-hour PSI)

  • No completely accurate forecast values are available but a daily forecast is provided at http://www.haze.gov.sg
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are the best indication of ground conditions for short-term activity such as a coastal cleanup of between 60 – 90 mins
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are available at on the myENV app and at their webpage here

Here are our suggested guidelines using the 1-hour PM2.5 values for coastal cleanups: 

  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 55.5µg/m3 (Band II Elevated), sensitive people should properly wear their N95 mask
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are between 100 µg/m3 – 150 µg/m3 (upper region of Band II Elevated), everyone should properly wear an N95 mask 
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 150µg/m3 (Band III Very High), call off the cleanup and inform your Zone Captain

Safety is the priority; Organisers decide about cancelling their cleanups as needed

  • Safety is the priority of any coastal cleanup exercise. 
  • The Organiser will call off their coastal cleanup at any point they feel they need to, even if pollution readings are not high
  • When in doubt, err on the side of safety to protect participants from both immediate and long-term effects. 
  • Please inform your Zone Captain about your cancellation so we may advise NEA about cancelling trash pickup.

Precautions for individuals with potential respiratory problems

  • Some individuals may have potential respiratory problems – Organisers must ask participants to declare their condition before their cleanup.
  • Assign such individuals data recording duty to avoid over exertion as a precaution against sudden changes in haze conditions.
  • Such individuals should, as always, bring their prescribed inhalers/personal medication with them.
  • Remind all participants to alert their Organiser about any feeling of discomfort they may be experiencing at any time.

Responsibilities of cleanup participants

Bring your mask and water

  • 1. All cleanup participants must bring their own N95 mask and to be familiar with its use; refer to the proper use of an N95 mask:
    • Six steps to wearing the N95 mask (MOH): link
    • Use of masks and availability of masks (MOH): link
  • 2. Wear your mask at anytime you feel it is necessary to do so, even if 1-hour PSI levels are not high.
  • 3. All participants must bring their own supply of water to hydrate well and frequently throughout the cleanup.

Alert your Organiser and take precautions

  • 4. Participants must advise their Organisers if they are feeling unwell or experiencing discomfort at any time; e.g. experiencing irritation of the skin or eyes, or of their nasal passages or throat. 
  • 5. Anyone who feels any discomfort should wash their face, wear their N95 mask and leave the site for a filtered air environment immediately.

Do not exert yourself

  • 6. Do not exert yourself when picking up and categorising trash to avoid strenuous work. 
  • 7. Large trash items such as barrels and tyres can be recorded without removal and may be left on the shore for removal another time.

— end —

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

Organiser’s registration is CLOSED for 25th ICCS 2016: 3,500 volunteers signed up from 80 organisations

The 25th International Coastal Cleanup Singapore is scheduled for the 3rd and 17th September 2016 at sites around the Singapore. 80 organisations have signed up more than 3,500 volunteers for the annual data collection exercise which is conducted around the world, and coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy.

Registration is now CLOSED for Organisers. The volunteer ICCS team spent Apr – Jun conducting site recces, processing applications, finalising site allocations and answering a tsunami-load of queries. In July we ran series of week night workshops to initiate Organisers, set up joint recce visits, get permissions for site access and arrange for trash disposal for the main event, which we are in the midst of doing now.

There is not enough time to process new Organisers now, so they will be redirected to year-round coastal cleanup with Public Hygiene Council. This requires at least three weeks notice.

Registration of individual participants for a coastal cleanup opportunity with NUS Toddycats on 17th September 2016 will be announced after National Day.

Part of the reason for this seasonal operation method is the purely voluntary nature of the team – we need to cope with our regular jobs and the university semester has just begun for some of us and we are swamped and must refocus in August!

Do join us next year in April when registration reopens. And thanks for caring for the environment!

status.coastalcleanupsingapore.org

Map of sites cleanup sites around Singapore
Screenshot 02

Server down; alternative links to Site Status and Registration pages for Organisers

11.24 am – site is back up!

The ICCS server (http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg ) appears to be down this morning so here are alternative links for Organisers who want to check the Site Status (to check availability or confirm their site) and who want to register for ICCS in September:

Registration page:

Site Status – to check for availability:

Screenshot 76

The 2016 Ocean Trash Index – what 800,000 volunteers in 92 countries generated during ICCS2015!

More than eight million kilograms of trash was collected by nearly 800,000 volunteers in 92 countries during Ocean Conservancy’s 2015 International Coastal Cleanup. The data is reported in Ocean Conservancy’s 2016 Ocean Trash Index which was released yesterday which you can access at oceanconservancy.org

Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Trash Index is the world’s largest item-by-item, location-by-location database of trash found in near-shore environments, representing the efforts of more than 11.5 million volunteers over 30 years!

The solid pollutant of greatest concern in the marine environment is plastic waste with the top five most commonly collected items being cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws. This pattern is true of Singapore, but we see our list topped by expanded polystyrene (EPS) or styrofoam pieces.

2016 Ocean Trash Top 10

Of the 92 countries, the turnout in the The Philippines was highlighted for good reason –  more than quarter a million Filipinos retrieved more than 400,000 pieces of trash over nearly 1,000 kilometers of shoreline, weighing more than 300 tonnes. What a big relief for their shores!

Singapore’s entry this year is blank because the 2015 cleanup was cancelled due to the poor air condition caused by the transboundary haze pollution. Besides Singapore, Dominica’s cleanup was also cancelled, due to a tropical storm.

2016 is the 25th year of the International Coastal Cleanup in Singapore. Let’s hope we’ll be spared the haze, as volunteers are usually able to clear between 14 – 20 tonnes of trash from our shores. The marine environment certainly does deserve the relief coastal cleanup volunteers provide.

Screenshot 41