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
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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:

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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.

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Registration opens for the 25th International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (Sat 03 & Sat 17 Sep 2016)!

Announcement – ICCS 2016 Registration for Organisers is now open, and results of Site Allocation will be released at end-Apr, end-May and end-Jun 2016.

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 with the sun to conduct a cleanup at shores and waterways with a difference – 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. And in 2016, it is the 25th year we welcome Organisers to lead volunteers to participate in this meaningful activity once again!

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 03 Sep 2016 (Mangroves) & Sat 17 Sep 2016 (Beaches)

The tidal heights in Singapore (Sembawang) are:

  • Sat 03 2016: 0800 – 0.9m; 0900 – 1.3m
  • Sun 17 Sep 2016: 0800 – 1.4m; 0900 – 1.9m

Thus mangrove and beach cleanups will be held two weeks apart to allow mangrove workers a wider area of access at their site. Beach cleanups on the 3rd of September must begin by 8.00am as usual, for the tide rises quickly during this full moon to more than 3.0 meters by midday.

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

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 the end of Apr, May and June and listed at status.coastalcleanupsingapore.org

Registration will be close thereafter.

2014-06-27_20.57.55-iccs_otters.

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 Wed 13th July, Thu 14th July & Fri 15th July 2016. 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.

27_ICCS_Organisers_Workshop-07jul2012[kpinto]

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.

LCK 2012 (kp) 02

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

Participation in International Coastal Cleanup Singapore has doubled over a decade

Registration by Organisations for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) in September this year will be open next week.

Looking back at participation in recent years (2010-2014), on the average some 3,500 ICCS volunteers from 70 organisations have worked 20,000 metres of Singapore’s shoreline, removing more than 180,00 pieces of trash in 2,200 trash bags weighing about 16,000kg.

Encouragingly, this has doubled since the last decade.

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There is plenty of work to do out on our shores, so this massive effort has been supplemented by an increasing number of year-round cleanups in the recent years. This has been and remains a wonderful contribution to the marine environment by volunteers in Singapore.

Cancelled – all cleanups on morning of Sat 19 Sep 2015: haze at unhealthy levels

0720h – Dear Organiser, do cancel your scheduled cleanup at current unhealthy levels of haze. We certainly appreciate the dedication by those of you intending to proceed. However, ICCS is not able to accept data from this morning to safeguard volunteers’ health.

From NEA Pollutant Concentrations page.
Pollutant Concentrations 3

View of Bukit Timah from Holland Village this morning
2015 09 19 08 30 23

Haze Advisory to Organisers, update: Only hourly PM2.5 concentrations are suitable for a rapid response (and values > 55µg/m3 are unhealthy)

About half of the 70 organisations in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore cancelled over the past week after the first haze advisory was issued. The remaining organisations, about half, are able to defer their decision to early tomorrow morning.

However, I had to improve the advisory. Since PSI indices are based on previously registered values, they cannot respond to rapid changes on the ground. So it is the 1-hr PM2.5(µg/m3) concentrations which NEA has published since 2014, which has been pointed to ICCS Organisers to keep an eye on.

Well, that and their eyes and noses!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Date: Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 10:03 PM

Dear International Coastal Cleanup Organisers in Singapore,

Some of you will decide if you can proceed with your coastal cleanup on the morning of the event itself. Here is our recommendation.

Check 1-hour PM2.5 values. PSI values are historical so will not help.

What is this value?

  • This value indicates the concentration of harmful fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter in the environment.
  • Yes it is a lower number than your PSI, because this value is a concentration, and not an index.
  • The concentration can be converted to an Air Quality Index (AQI) value.
  • The 3-hour and 24-hour indices report historical values so are not applicable to our situation.

You can rely on your eyes and nose too!

  • Conditions can change very rapidly with shifting winds and take up to an hour for readings to reflect this change.
  • Be observant and respond accordingly.

Why is the use of N95 masks for coastal cleanups not recommended?

  • Only N95 masks help prevent inhalation of fine particles. However they must used properly and in the right conditions.
  • Fit is of critical importance to prevent the entry of 2.5 micrometer-sized particles through gaps in the mask.
  • Each user needs to be fitted properly and the seal examined to ensure it is adequate, especially with people unfamiliar with use of the mask (most of us!)
  • Heavy breathing can disrupt the seal of a mask.
  • Wearing a mask and engaging in physical activity may require increased effort to breathe or create discomfort in breathing.

Why are we being so careful?
Isn’t the issue of marine pollution critical? Don’t we need the data?

  • ICCS is not such a critical exercise that it requires volunteers to take such risks.
  • Small and fine particles can pass through the throat and nose to enter the lungs and affect our heart and lungs.
  • This can cause serious short-term and long-term health effects.

Even though we have been working on the International Coastal Cleanup project since the start of the year, the health of all you precious volunteers is much more important.

All the best and let’s hope for clear skies!

Relevant Links

Cheerio!

Sivasothi


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