Celebrate Earth Day with a Coastal Cleanup @ Pasir Ris Beach 6!

In conjunction with Earth Day, volunteers with the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) will be conducting a cleanup at Pasir Ris Beach 6 on Saturday, 18th April 2015: 4.00pm – 6.00pm.

Registration has closed! Thank you to those that have signed up!

We will meet directly at Pasir Ris Park Carpark E before walking over to the cleanup site together

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What is Earth Day? Earth Day is an annual event to celebrate our Earth, proposed by peace activist John McConnell. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now commemorated by 192 countries every 22nd of April.

Why Cleanup? In Singapore, our coast lines host innumerable amounts of biodiversity. Trash present in these areas impact our wildlife adversely, releases toxic chemicals and devalue the natural beauty of the landscape. Coastal cleanups are conducted by volunteers around the world to remove this trash, raise awareness of the plight of our oceans, and motivate us to rethink our habits in daily urban living towards sustainable practises.

Pasir Ris 6 is a beach located in the East of Singapore, next to Pasir Ris Park. It is not frequently visited by members of the public, and the beach is therefore not regularly cleaned.

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Meeting Point All participants will meet at Pasir Ris Park Carpark E, before walking over to Pasir Ris Beach 6 together. Below is a map for reference: Pasir Ris Beach 6 Directions from Pasir Ris MRT to Carpark E

Directions from PR MRT to bus stopParticipants can take Bus 403 from Pasir Ris Bus Interchange, a short walk from Pasir Ris MRT. They will alight at “opp Unit 104” bus stop, (BUS CODE: 77129) after the bus goes around a roundabout, 10 stops later.

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Left: The roundabout that the bus will go around before it stops at “opp Unit 104.”
Right: Water Venture, which lies at the side of the Carpark. The Carpark E sign is visible at the left side.

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This is what the participants will see opposite “opp Unit 104.”

We will have volunteers dressed in bright red shirts, standing at the bus stop to guide you to Carpark E. See below:

People to look out for

Itinerary 

16:00 – All participants to meet at Pasir Ris Park Carpark E, start walking to Pasir Ris Beach 6
16:15 – Briefing and identification of Trash Collection Point (TCP). Brief of wet weather plans (which is to carry on unless there is a lighting threat). Organize everyone into groups of 4, apply insect repellant, collect gloves, trash bags, ICCS data cards, and other required logistics.
16:30 – Cleanup begins
18:00 – Transportation of trash to TCP.
18:15 – End of clean-up. Trash is weighed and discussion/ reflection time.
18:30 – Participants clean up. Toilets are available at Pasir Ris Park, a short walk away.

Things to note

  1. You must wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  2. A change of clothes is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  3. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites, but bermudas are fine.
  4. Water-proof your belongings, in the case of bad weather.

Things to bring:

  1. Water bottle (with at least one litre of water)
  2. Hat and/ or sun block
  3. Raincoat/ poncho (we will work in rain)

Be prepared:

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a decent lunch – it’s hard work!
  3. Be punctual – we are unable to wait for latecomers; tide waits for no one!
  4. Refer to this recce report of PR6 for more information on the cleanup site.

Thank you for caring for our planet this Earth Day!

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“Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat” – Grace Chua in The Straits Times, 24 Jun 2014

“Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat” – Grace Chua in The Straits Times, 24 Jun 2014 [pdf]

Tiny bits of plastic pose big threat AsiaOne Asian Opinions News

Although the relationship between a microbead’s size and its environmental impact has not been fully studied, Associate Professor Obbard says studies done with his students a decade apart have found that this pollution is present, and increasing, all over Singapore.
Plastic particles were detected in beach sediment at four of seven beaches – St John’s Island, Pasir Ris, East Coast Park and Kallang River, in seawater at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club and Kranji, and in all seven mangrove habitats sampled at Berlayar Creek, Sungei Buloh, Lim Chu Kang and Pasir Ris.
While little work has been done on what level of microplastic might be hazardous, scientists are concerned because it is so widespread.

See more at AsiaOne.

Microplastics in Singapore’s mangroves

Nur Hazimah Mohamed Nor, Jeffrey Philip Obbard, 2014. Microplastics in Singapore’s coastal mangrove ecosystems. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 79 (1–2): 278-283, ISSN 0025-326X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.11.025 [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X13007261]

Abstract: The prevalence of microplastics was studied in seven intertidal mangroves habitats of Singapore. Microplastics were extracted from mangrove sediments via a floatation method, and then counted and categorized according to particle shape and size. Representative microplastics from Berlayar Creek, Sungei Buloh, Pasir Ris and Lim Chu Kang were isolated for polymer identification using Attenuated Total Reflectance–Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy.

Microplastics were identified in all seven habitats, with the highest concentration found in sediments at Lim Chu Kang in the northwest of Singapore. The majority of microplastics were fibrous and smaller than 20 μm. A total of four polymer types were identified, including polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon and polyvinyl chloride.

The relationship between abundance of microplastics and sediment grain size was also investigated, but no relationship was apparent. The presence of microplastics is likely due to the degradation of marine plastic debris accumulating in the mangroves.

Thanks Fabiano Barreto and Sam Judd for the alert!