Lim Chu Kang Cleanup – The Pretty (Miss Earths), The Ugly (Trash) and The Hard Work

We celebrated National Day early with a cleanup with Miss Earth Singapore 2010 contestants and other volunteers from Republic Polytechnic and NUS. The morning began ominously with gloomy weather and rain clouds and distant thunder calls hinted of an impending thunderstorm. Thankfully, the worst we hit by was a mild drizzle which meant a comfortable cool weather to work in. And I was real happy to be spared mozzie attacks for once!

Cleanup site from afar

We boarded the bus between 7.30am – 8.00am from NUS and Clementi. I felt a little worried for the Miss Earth Singapore 2010 contestants when I first saw them decked out in white tees and shorts. Were they going to be swamped by the mud, swarmed by mozzies and drenched by the rain?!Well, it turned out that I was worrying for nothing – they showed it was possible to look fantabulous in front of the cam and clean the coast at the same time!

Miss Earth Singapore 2010 Contestants

After a short briefing at Lim Chu Kang Road end site, everyone eagerly started work armed with their trash bags and gloves on the beach. This was my first time at the Lim Chu Kang beach and mangrove and despite a few years of action by teams for the ICCS , the trash load was surprisingly high. So we really sweated it out.

Besides the usual plethora of plastic bags and bottles, we also found helmets, a television, chairs, cushions, big barrels, nets, umbrellas… even cooking oil, unripe bananas and rotting kueh – gosh, that stank! It was as if there was a “trash-made” kampung right there!

The NUS biology experts and alumni treated us to an on-the-spot flora and fauna lesson. The crab-eating snake and live horseshoe crab grabbed the limelight, didn’t they? And from a female volunteer’s perspective, I’d like to present my compliments to the Miss Earth Singapore 2010 contestants and the reigning Miss Earth 2009 for adding colour, variety and chatter to a morning of hard work!

And it was DEFINITELY a lot of hard work done, for we removed a total of 811.3kg of trash in more than 10 trash bags! Over 800kg of harmful trash eliminated from our precious shores, yeah!

Evidence of our hard work!

More than 800kg of trash from the pre-National Day cleanup at Lim Chu Kang

07 Aug 2010 – A group of 42 volunteers from Ms Earth Singapore, Republic Polytechnic and NUS (Raffles Museum Toddycats & The Biodiversity Crew) and friends spent the morning at Lim Chu Kang beach and mangrove ridding the shore of plastic trash stranded there.

This special celebratory pre-National Day cleanup has been conducted by the ICCS team with Ms Earth Singapore contestants for the 3rd year running.

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The rain which stormed over other parts of Singapore, spared us and after 90 minutes, we had cleared 811.3kg of trash from the beach and mangrove into some 116 trash bags with 20 bulky items removed, phew!

Thanks to NEA for picking up the trash from the pre-arranged Trash Disposal Point and sending it for disposal in the afternoon.


Chain gang at end of the beach cleanup

Blog posts and photos albums

  • “Lim Chu Kang Cleanup – The Pretty (Miss Earths), The Ugly (Trash) and The Hard Work,” by Ng Kai Scene. News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, 07 Aug 2010 – link.
  • Photo album by Andy Dinesh – link (flickr).
  • Photos by Yukari Niino – link (facebook)
  • Photos by Kevin Lim- link (flickr).

Archive

  • 2008 photos by Airani S – link
  • 2009 photos by Kenneth Pinto – link

Sat 07 Aug 2010: The pre-National Day coastal cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang mangrove

Celebrate our National Day with a mangrove cleanup on Saturday 7th August 2010!

The Mission:
Lim Chu Kang mangroves is a beautiful and unique patch of unprotected mangrove in Singapore, facing the Western Straits of Johor. It is adjacent to a Police Coast Guard base and offshore, kelongs and fish farms unload their produce at the jetty to send to markets in Singapore. Scientists have worked in this mangrove for decades and though it is but a small patch that remains, it is scientifically interesting and holds many stories about animal and plant life and heritage in Singapore.

skitched-20100804-020831.jpg
The famous mud lobster mounds of Lim Chu Kang mangrove


The 2008 cleanup.

Trash is regularly deposited on Lim Chu Kang mangrove from the straits so various groups tackle this sensitively in small groups during regular coastal cleanups. The ICCS team is organising this pre-National Day cleanup and inviting Raffles Museum Toddycats, The Biodiversity Crew and Ms Earth Singapore participants; you can sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/lck-07aug2010reg.

Pre-National Day mangrove cleanup: Site and Pickup Points - Google Maps
Click for active map

Itinerary (approximate):

  • 0730 – bus pick-up in NUS @ Science Drive 1
  • 0745 – bus pick-up at Clementi next to the interchange at Commonwealth Ave W
  • 0830 – reach LCK, distribute into sub-groups, apply insect repellent, collect gloves and trash bags.
  • 0845 – Briefing, identification of Trash Loading Point (TLP) and bus shelter, wet weather plan (carry on unless lightning threat)
  • 0900 – cleanup begins.
  • 1000 – Loading teams start moving trash out to TLP
  • 1030 – clean-up ends, weigh trash and discussion; Q&A
  • 1045 – participants clean up – note: no washing point, so bring small amount of water to wipe down.
  • 1100 – Bus returns to Clementi, NUS – Note: help needed to wash gloves in NUS.

Provided:

  1. Transport to site.
  2. Gloves.
  3. Trash bags.
  4. Weighing scales.

Be prepared!

  • Sleep early the night before and hydrate,
  • set your alarm to wake up on time and
  • have a decent breakfast!

What you should bring:

  1. Covered shoes with hard soles.
  2. Water bottle (at least one litre of water).
  3. Hat and/or sun block.
  4. Raincoat/ponco (we’ll carry on working in rain)
  5. Towel in a bag – to wipe off any sand and mud off you.
  6. Suggestion – dry fit clothes are suitable for this work. If you prefer cotton, a change of t-shirt will come in handy after a sweaty workout.
  7. Light pants will help protect your legs from insect bites (if you tend to get bitten!) as well as from the debris, but bermudas are fine.

Transport:

Registered participants are to meet us at either

  1. the NUS bus stop outside Science Drive 1 (7.30am; meet Siva) or
  2. the bus stop AFTER Clementi MRT Station heading west (7.45am; meet Lim Cheng Puay).

Driving?
Meet us at Lim Chu Kang Road end (click for map) where some parking space is available.

Photos from the pre-National Day cleanup 2009 @ LCK mangrove

Photos from the Lm Chu Kang pre-National Day cleanup by the ICCS Otters with members of the public, Raffles Museum Toddycats, The Biodiversity Crew and Ms Earth Singapore participants.

Pre-National Day mangrove cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang, 8th August 2009

Celebrate our National Day with a mangrove cleanup!

The Mission:
Lim Chu Kang mangroves is a beautiful and unique patch of unprotected mangrove in Singapore, facing the Western Straits of Johor. It is adjacent to a Police Coast Guard base and offshore, kelongs and fish farms unload their produce at the jetty to send to markets in Singapore. Scientists have worked in this mangrove for decades and though it is but a small patch that remains, it is scientifically interesting and holds many stories about animal and plant life and heritage in Singapore.


The 2008 cleanup.

Trash is regularly deposited on Lim Chu Kang mangrove so various groups tackle this sensitively in small groups during regular coastal cleanups. The ICCS team is organising this pre-National Day cleanup and inviting Raffles Museum Toddycats, The Biodiversity Crew and Ms Earth Singapore participants; you can sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/lck-08aug2009.

Itinerary (approximate):

  • 0730 – bus pick-up at Science Drive 1
  • 0745 – bus pick-up from Clementi MRT
  • 0830 – reach LCK, distribute into sub-groups, apply insect repellent, collect gloves and trash bags.
  • 0845 – Briefing, Trash Loading Point (TLP) and bus shelter pointed out, wet weather plan (carry on unless lightning threat)
  • 0900 – cleanup begins.
  • 1000 – Loading teams start moving trash out to TLP
  • 1030 – clean-up ends, weigh trash and discussion; Q&A
  • 1045 – participants clean up – note: no washing point, so bring small amount of water to wipe down.
  • 1100 – Bus returns to Clementi, NUS – Note: help needed to wash gloves in NUS!

Provided:

  1. Transport to site.
  2. Gloves.
  3. Trash bags.
  4. Weighing scales.

What you should bring:

  1. Covered shoes with hard soles.
  2. Water bottle (at least one litre of water).
  3. Hat and/or sun block.
  4. Raincoat/ponco (we’ll carry on working in rain)
  5. Towel in a bag – to wipe off any sand and mud off you.
  6. Suggestion – dry fit clothes are suitable for this work. If you prefer cotton, a change of t-shirt will come in handy after a sweaty workout.
  7. Light pants will help protect your legs from insect bites (if you tend to get bitten!) as well as from the debris, but bermudas are fine.

Transport:

Registered participants are to meet us at either

  1. the NUS bus stop outside Science Drive 1 (7.30am; meet Siva) or
  2. the bus stop AFTER Clementi MRT Station heading west (7.45am; meet Dewi and Anand).

See below:

7.30am Pick Up Point – Meet N. Sivasothi

7.45am Pick up Point – Meet Anand Ramchand
& Dewi Anggraini.

Bus route

SBS 95 bus stop from Buona Vista MRT  to Lim Chu Kang Rd - Google Maps

Driving?
Meet us at Lim Chu Kang Road end
Parking available

Lim Chu Kang mangrove cleanup w/Miss Earth Singapore 2008

After a flurry of emails the past couple of weeks between Anand (Miss Earth liason), Dewi (LCK Site Captain) and myself, we were really pleased to be heading down at Lim Chu Kang mangroves this morning. It was a pleasant journey spent chatting with the Miss Earth ladies and the nature/environment volunteers who came, including some of the ICCS organisers. We reached Lim Chu Kang road end at about 8.30am, and kept the fishermen and the military boys company for the morning.

The team comprised of Miss Earth Singapore contestants, Eco magazine writers who came long to interview them, and nature and environment volunteers from various groups in Singapore. Everyone toiled with good cheer and industry, working well together and removed more than 250kg of trash and bulky items relieving the mangrove of a considerable load.

Though we had meant to keep to the beach, several of us began venturing into the periphery of the mangroves which the trash line straddles. A lot more trash still persists but we will tackle this slowly and steadily over the next few years.

A large number of plastic bags were half buried in the sand and mud. This is due to the lack of frequent cleanups which allow the accreting sand to bury over time.

Another prominent item were ghost nets. One had trapped a couple of horseshoe crabs and we released the one that was still alive – it took quick work with a scissors brought specifically for such situations.

We were unable to remove most of the nets which had been half-buried. These posed less of a danger than fresh ghost nets so we will return another day with the proper set of tools to tackle these.

The biologists and naturalists present introduced some examples of mangrove life to the group – crabs, onchidiums, drills and other snails, mangrove plants and the horseshoe crab we saved. I took the opportunity to also chat with the ICCS organisers who had joined us that day – it was a relaxing session for them as it was worry free – unlike their ICCS session in September!


The mangrove introduction session also served as a rest and water break before we started hauling out the accumulated trash to the bin site. As we worked, the tide and rain clouds arrived at Lim Chu Kang. However, many hands made light work and the trash was directed out quickly for weighing and a final toss into the bin.





As we waited for the bus, we relaxed, changed and chatted. Major Gene Tan who had dropped in on the SAF guys on duty at Lim Chu Kang complimented us on the morning’s work – and asked us to come more often 🙂 He says the plastic was also a potential dengue threat and was appreciative of cleaned beach. We were certainly satisfied by the our morning’s work!


A bunch of Toddycats returned to NUS with the participant’s used gloves and employed our limnologists’ tubs to remove the excess mud – familiar work for Marcus, Dewi and Dongrong (ICCS-NUS)!


The rinsed and wrung out gloves were laid out to dry in the hot sun and were turned over after lunch to get dry and toasty. And the normally operationally-fixated Toddycats did remember to take a group photo this time!

As Anand, Airani and I flipped through the photos over a cup of coffee later at the Science Canteen, we agreed that the Miss Earth contestants we had worked with were a cooperative and enthusiastic bunch who were not afraid to get their fingers dirty – literally, for we had to remind them to keep their gloves as we were hauling trash out at the end!

Its good to know we have them out there as environmental ambassadors and the Toddycats wish them all the best in the year of activities ahead of them!


Photos by Airani.

Lim Chu Kang Mangroves cleanup, Sat 19th Jul 2008: 8am-12pm

The Mission:
Lim Chu Kang mangroves is a beautiful and unique patch of unprotected mangrove in Singapore, facing the Western Straits of Johor. It is adjacent to a Police Coast Guard base and offshore, kelongs and fish farms unload their produce at the jetty to send to markets in Singapore.

During a recent research trip, the amount of marine debris observed has reached an intolerable amount – plastic bags are hanging off trees and mudskippers are resting on plastic. A bunch of environment and nature volunteers have responded to the call and are intent on making a dent to the debris load on the beach.

The Team:

  • Nature/Environment volunteers (20): Cheng Chee Hoew, Alison Wee, Robert Heigermoser, Teo Kah Ming, Nicholas Koh Yong Zhi, Joelle Lai, Marcus Ng Fu Chuan, Zhang Dongrong, Marcus Tay Guan Hock, Laurine Wong, Airani, Esther Clews, Steve Ong Choon Siong, Tan Mei Jun, Janice Lee, Dew Anggraini, Anand Ramchand, Kelly Ong, Rain Siow Xiu Juan & N. Sivasothi.
  • Volunteers from Ms Earth Singapore (Finalists, 13): Alethea Jane Seet, Loren Xue, Lynn Lim, Silver Zhang, Swati Dhir, Leow Yi Jin, Kang Zilei, Jas Chu, Lin Siqi, Wendy Chong, Yen Wu Ling, Yun Tang and Ivy Leow.
  • Ms Earth Organisers and Photographers (4) – Vivien, Kelvin, Chia Hsien & Thomas.
  • Eco Magazine (4) – Yihan, Ibnur, Gavin and Tiffany.

Itinerary (approximate):

  • 0745 – bus pick-up from Clementi MRT
  • 0830 – reach LCK, distribute into sub-groups, apply insect repellent, collect gloves and trash bags.
  • 0845 – Briefing, Trash Loading Point (TLP) and bus shelter pointed out, wet weather plan (carry on unless lightning threat)
  • 0900 – cleanup begins.
  • 1000 – Loading teams start moving trash out to TLP
  • 1030 – clean-up ends, weigh trash and discuss the most common items found, Q&A
  • 1045 – participants clean themselves up – note no washing point!
  • 1100 – Bus returns to Clementi, NUS – help needed to wash gloves in NUS so join us if you can!

What we will provide:

  1. Transport to site.
  2. Gloves.
  3. Trash bags.
  4. Weighing scales.

What you should bring:

  1. Covered shoes with hard soles.
  2. Water bottle (at least one litre of water).
  3. Hat and/or sun block.
  4. Raincoat/ponco (we’ll carry on working in rain)
  5. Towel in a bag – to wipe off any sand and mud off you.
  6. Suggestion – dry fit clothes are suitable for this work. If you prefer cotton, a change of t-shirt will come in handy after a sweaty workout.
  7. Light pants will help protect your legs from insect bites (if you re the sort that gets bitten) as well as from the debris.

Transport:

Registered participants are to meet us at either

  1. the NUS bus stop outside Science Drive 1 (7.30am; meet Siva) or
  2. the bus stop AFTER Clementi MRT Station heading west (7.45am; meet Dewi and Anand).

See below:

7.30am Pick Up Point – Meet N. Sivasothi

7.45am Pick up Point – Meet Anand Ramchand
& Dewi Anggraini.

Tides:

Bus route

SBS 95 bus stop from Buona Vista MRT  to Lim Chu Kang Rd - Google Maps

Driving?
Meet us at Lim Chu Kang Road end
Parking available