Kallang Basin’s Urban Coastal Cleanup!

The Kallang cleanup is a unique cleanup site for two reasons – with the Marina Barrage in place, Kallang Basin is cut off from the sea and this is no longer tidal. Instead the water level is controlled by the Public Utilities Board (PUB). Also the site is closest to the city center so participants work against an urban backdop of condominiums, the Benjamin Henry Sheare’s Bridge and the Singapore Flyer.

Coordination work here is easy because co-organiser Waterways Watch Society (WWS) is the area’s long-time environmental stalwart. Four organisations tackled Kallang – the German European School of Singapore (GESS), Compassvale Secondary School, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and NTU Earthlink.

PUB lowered the water level at 8am to provide a “low tide” so most of the teams started bright and early at 8am so that they could access the trash which would otherwise have been submerged.

GESS and Compassvale Secondary School headed for the long sandy beach of Marina Promenade and the enthusiastic students plunged into action immediately. Asked about the trash she found, a student answered “Lots of plastic!” – indeed, plastic is by far and large the most common item found here. A steady stream of plastic bags, straws, and food wrappers were picked and bagged. This load was probably washed in from areas other than the Promenade itself as it was too much to have come from one site!

NTU Earthlink’s older students handled the muddiest patch in the basin – Kallang Riverside Park. Amidst all that muddy work, the undergraduates uncovered the carcasses of two horseshoe crabs.

Meanwhile MEWR’s smallest group attended to small patches of coast around the WWS headquarters.

Participants saw for themselves the type and amount of urban trash entering our rivers that reach and impact our coastal and marine environments – with plastic items contributing the largest load. In Kallang, tired participants were left with some food for thought – the accumulated trash load from years of indiscriminate disposal of litter now plagues the river basin we reclaimed for a freshwater supply. It’s going to be a long journey to rehabilitating this precious resource and ICCS volunteers will make their small contribution to the effort annually.

Ng Kai Scene
South Zone Coordinator
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Posted by email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (posterous)

Kallang Basin photos from Waterways Watch Society

Photos of Compassvale Secondary and WWS in action; see the entire album at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/habitatnews/sets/72157607388936471/

Posted by email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (posterous)

Sites at Kallang Basin

The Kallang Basin cleanup will begin early on Saturday morning, 20th September 2008 – at 8am – because the lowered water level will start to be raised back to normal at 9am!

Overseeing the cleanup sites there is Waterways Watch Society and ICCS Zone Captain Ng Kai Scene. They have conducted the cleanup there for many years but this year, with the barrage across the mouth of the Singapore River completed, Kallang Basin is now a reservoir.

Working there this year are NUS High School, NTU Earthlink, Compassvale Secondary School, German European School and a team from Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

The marine debris that has accumulated in Kallang over the decades remain and the annual ICCS exercise contributes towards the objective of eliminating this historical load.

Photos from Kallang Basin are in!

Ng Kai Scene, the South Zone Coordinator brought in the data and photos from the zone she coordinates in partnership with Kallang’s flagship group, Waterways Watch Society.

The groups that groups that participated in that area are the German European School, NUS High School, NTU Earthlink, Compassvale Secondary and Waterways Watch Society. See the Flick set here.