ICCS @ Nan Hua Primary School’s EarthFest 2017: Learning about marine life and marine trash

25 May 2017 (Thursday) – ICCS was invited to set up a booth at Nan Hua Primary School’s EarthFest event, where various activities, talks and booths were arranged to nurture a strong pro-environment mindset and green culture amongst students. Other NGOs there included the Restroom Association and Cat Welfare Society and a parent volunteer group prepared creative upcycling craft activities for students.

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ICCS volunteers Jia Hui, Delia, Sakinah and Tina all set and ready to engage and inspire young minds!

We were glad to be joined by eight students from the Raffles Girls’ School’s Project Atlantis who crafted puzzles and games for the Nan Hua Primary students to learn about marine trash in a fun and engaging way!

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ICCS volunteers (left) and students of the Raffles Girls’ School’s Project Atlantis (right) joined forces in spreading the message about the problem of marine trash!

A “feast” of educational materials were prepared for the ICCS outreach booth to share with approximately 1,600 students about Singapore’s marine life, impacts of marine trash and what we can do to help solve the problem. In addition to ICCS posters and photos of animals affected by trash, we equipped ourselves with specimens of marine life, a “Spot the Trash” activity card, as well as actual marine trash items collected from East Coast Park.

We exhausted ourselves by speaking continuously for three hours, but raising awareness of marine trash to a attentive young audience was rewarding. It was encouraging for ICCS volunteers to learn how much the students knew about the importance of disposing trash properly and the need to protect the marine environment at an early age.

A great big thank you to the ICCS volunteers Chen Jia Hui, Delia Quek, Quek Xiao Tong, Sakinah Nazihah Roslan, and Tina Liow for lending us a hand at the booth!

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Sakinah guiding students to find and count trash in the “Spot the Trash” activity card!

Left: Tina sharing with curious students about the horseshoe crabs found in Singapore!

Right: Xiao Tong sharing with students about the impact of marine trash on Singapore’s wildlife using photographs of animals ingesting trash or being entangled in fishing nets.

It was heartening to witness the amount of effort put in by the teachers and parent volunteer group in dedicating time and resources to organise such a meaningful festival for the students. As the fate of today’s environmental problems lies in the hands of future generations to come, we hope more schools will cultivate an environment-conscious attitude in students and inspire them to be stewards of the environment!

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ICCS @ Festival of Biodiversity 2015: What can we do for our oceans?

27 & 28 June 2015 – With the help of passionate volunteers, ICCS headed down to VivoCity with the NUS Toddycats for Festival of Biodiversity 2015! The festival, an initiative by NParks and the Biodiversity Roundtable actively engages members of the public since 2012 to celebrate our local flora and fauna.

Do read more about the collective NUS Toddycats! effort at Festival of Biodiversity 2015 here!

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Left: Amanda Ng talking about the Dugong (Dugong dugon)
Right: Wu Bokai talking about the Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea)
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Left: Letchumi Mani shares about Horseshoe crabs on our shores (family: Limulidae)
Right: Fascinated by the Dugong!
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Left: Lesley Chng sharing about mangrove snakes
Right: Foo Maosheng holds up the majestic fruit of the Nipah palm (Nypa fruticans)
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Left: Max Khoo talking about the Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea) and sharing stories about the Smooth-coated Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Singapore!
Right: Ng Kai Scene talking about the Giant Mudskipper in our mangroves (Periophthalmodon schlosseri)
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Left: Teo Kah Ming talking about the threat marine trash poses to our biodiversity
Right: Nishtha Anand talking about mangrove fishes!
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Left: Nicholas Yap talking about Stripe-nosed Halfbeak (Zenarchopterus buffonis)
Right: Sofina Ng sharing stories about the Dugong (Dugong dugon)

There were many more volunteers who spent the two days helping us spread messages from our seas, and we couldn’t be more grateful to them – they were up on their feet for hours, some nearly loosing their voice after constant talking!

Thank you to 34 wonderful volunteers who took different shifts throughout the two days: Theresa Su, Chris Zheng, Chua Li En Jacqueline, Erika Ivana Halim, Eyu Xue Yi, Kwok Yan Hoe, Lim Jin Hong, Low Xiang Hui, Lynette Ying, Mah Guo Wei, Max Khoo De Yuan, Neo Meng Yang, Ng Chao Xiang, Ng Kai Scene, Ng Wei Ling Amanda, Nur Azarina Khamis, Ong Yue Qi, Seah Shi Qi Cheyanne, Seah Shi’en Maryann, Sofina Ng, Steffi Loe, Tan Shiao Ying, Teo Kia Meng, Vincent Ong, Wang Jialun, Wong Siew Lien, Yang Yi Yong, Nicholas Yap, Nishtha Anand, Teo Kah Ming, Lesley Chng, Foo Maosheng, and Letchumi Mani. Lastly, thank you to Ng Chao Xiang and Adriane Lee for helping us with photography!

These outreach events hold great significance in the nature community. Not only does it bring everyone together with the common goal of raising awareness about our natural habitats, but also gives us an opportunity to interact with members of the public and encourage a greater appreciation for local biodiversity. Preparation for such events may be tiring, but after two days of being able to share what we are passionate about, we can definitely say it’s worth it!

Here’s to Festival of Biodiversity 2016 next year!

ICCS at Ubin Day 2015: working together to promote solutions!

13 & 14 June 2015 (Saturday and Sunday) – ICCS joined forces with the Civet Awareness Team for a combined NUS Toddycats booth on Ubin Day this year! It was an exciting weekend filled with activities all over the island, from guided nature walks to coastal and terrestrial cleanups, to kayaking sessions. ICCS was certainly delighted to present a booth at the exhibition area.

ICCS featured specimens from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum to introduce Singapore’s marine life and posters about marine trash and entanglement on our shores and w everyday solutions.

Manning the booth were passionate and hardworking volunteers who reached out to many visitors over the two day – well done on an excellent job!
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We were up bright and early on the 1st day, and set up by 7.30am, with hardworking ICCS volunteers all prepared for a day of outreach.

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Left: We shielded the dry specimens from the bright sunlight. UV rays from the sun can damage and discolour the feathers of these bird specimens.
Right: Joleen Chan, ICCS’ Tanah Merah Zone Captain talks about the Knobby Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus).

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Iris Ng shares about Horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda and Tachypleus gigas) with young visitors to the booth.

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Left: View of the booth from the side
Right: Sean Goh and Matt Wong – our new volunteers, helped to engage members of the public with an interactive marine life and trash game.

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The booth was very popular with the public! Our volunteers were kept busy throughout the two days, engaging visitors with interesting stories and lessons.

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Left: John introducing a visitor mangrove creatures of Singapore.
Right: Jerome sharing about the Stonefish (Synanceia sp.)

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Left: Yiyong gets ready his story about the Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Right: Juin Bin talks about the Dugong (Dugong Dugon)

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There was also great excitement at the terrestrial and avian corner. Specimens of mammals, reptiles and bird found on Ubin drew many curious visitors, whom our volunteers intrigued with fascinating stories.

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Left: Joys and Joleen hold up posters, raising awareness about the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus),and the cruelty behind the Kopi Luwak Industry. Visit Project Luwak to find out more about this.
Right: Chee Keon and Leng Leng, both ready to share their stories about Bats in Singapore (Order: Chiroptera)!

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Ubin Day 2 began with a heavy shower, but we were right back into action the second it stopped!

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Left: Our first visitor of the day arrived before we even finished setting up the booth. Our volunteer Max didn’t even have time to put down his bag!
Right: John gets these young visitors to guess where in Singapore marine life and marine trash can be found.

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Left: Keen, our youngest volunteer for the day amazing visitors with his knowledge on local biodiversity
Right: Lots of thanks to Erin who dropped by to help us manage the booth when manpower was running low!

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Left: Our last visitor to the booth on Sunday before we packed up.
Right: Travis gets him to listen for the sounds of the ocean through the Baler volute (Melo melo).

These outreach efforts are an extremely important opportunity to reach out to members of the public and raise awareness about local ecological issues. The specimens play an essential role and by talking about the unique characteristic adaptations traits they have, as well as what makes each species so special, we hope to encourage a greater appreciation for our fauna. The engagement stimulates thoughts about solutions and encourages people to begin with the small things everyday Singaporeans can do, to play a part in preserving and conserving biodiversity.

Our next gig is at the Festival of Biodiversity 2015 on 27 & 28 June 2015! Join us to learn more about the rich biodiversity in our beautiful red dot!

See more at the Ubin Day Facebook page.