Sat 01 April 2017: 7.30am – Join us for a very muddy World Water Day mangrove cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang

Join NUS Toddycats for the third year-round coastal cleanup at Lim Chu Kang. We are determined to clear this area of marine debris and plan to get muddy as we venture deeper into the mangrove this time. Working alongside us on the beach will be volunteers from NUS SAVE.

Transport is provided for 40 people (be sure to choose the right ticket), read all the details (itinerary, safety, site details) at the Eventbrite registration page.

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Singapore World Water Day – 29 volunteers remove 415.5kg of trash (43 trash bags) @ Sungei Pandan Mangrove [26 March 2016]

29 volunteers celebrated World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan on 26 March 2016 – beaming with enthusiasm and with quiet intent that early Saturday morning, they certainly raised our spirits!

They had hopped onto a bus from from Kent Ridge and Dover MRT stations to our gathering point at the Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop. Against the noisy traffic, and with the help of a handy gigaphone, ICCS Coordinator Sivasothi aka Otterman introduced the site and its ecosystem before the ICCS -IKEA Intern Joys Tan (that’s me!) embarked on my first safety briefing!

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 5.jpg

After many years of cleanups, the trash load at Sungei Pandan is now low and dominated by plastic sheets, cups, bottles, wrappers, straws, styrofoam (eps) and canvas bags. Many were embedded in the grass patch and mangrove floor, which requires a great effort for removal. Our volunteers were not dismayed but worked away, intent on improving the conditions in this rare mangrove spot in the south of Singapore – just look at the bright smiles on their faces!

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The ninety minute cleanup was an intense effort! So some of us took break after an hour to catch our breath and rest some weary muscles. Eventually it was time and we transferred and weighed the trash bags and set them aside at the agreed location for the NEA DPC contractors who ensure the trash gets disposed.

We debriefed the team by the roadside and reported a removal of 415.5kg of trash in 43 trash bags from the mangrove after an effort of 90 minutes! We discussed the type of trash we saw, remarked on the need to share the experience to encourage everyone to reduce trash at the source in our daily lives.

Otterman concluded with the biodiversity and heritage value of these precious remnant mangroves at Sungei Pandan and of the positive impact of the cleanups had made over the years. And we thanked the lovely volunteers for making a difference to Singapore!

Photos from the cleanup are available on Flickr and Facebook.

That was really some awesome work, volunteers! Thank you for protecting the environment!

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 13.jpg

World Water Day Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, 2016-03-28 at 13.12.08 9.jpg

Celebrate World Water Day with a mangrove cleanup @ Sungei Pandan, Sat 26 March 2016: 7.30am

In celebration of World Water Day, volunteers with the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) will be conducting a cleanup at Sungei Pandan mangrove on Sat 26 March 2016: 7.30am–10.30am.

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World Water Day Cleanup 26Mar2016

 

What is World Water Day? World Water Day is a day designated by the United Nations to highlight the importance of water and to advocate sustainable management of water resources. It is celebrated on 22 March annually.

Why cleanup? Humanity needs water and wetland habitats are an integral part of the water cycle on this planet. Wetlands habitats are especially precious in Singapore and trash causes adverse impacts to wildlife, releases harmful chemicals and are an unsightly presence we should not tolerate! Coastal cleanups are conducted by volunteers around the world to remove this trash, raise awareness of the plight of our oceans and waterways and motivate us to rethink our habits in daily urban living towards sustainable practises.

In Singapore: Water conservation efforts by PUB have seen Singapore’s per capita domestic water consumption dropped from 165 litres per day in 2003 to 150 litres. The agency is targeting a goal of 147 litres by 2020 and 140 litres by 2030.

Sungei Pandan Mangrove: Sungei Pandan is a small but precious mangrove located in south-western Singapore at the mouth of the Sungei Pandan, and draining into the sea at West Coast. In order to protect this site, the annual ICCS was extended to Sungei Pandan mangrove in 2008 and the bulk of the historical trash load has been removed. However, it is still burdened by an annual recruitment of marine trash and year-round coastal cleanups like the World Water Day cleanup help to make the ecosystem a more hospitable one for marine life – including the very special smooth-coated otter!

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Itinerary

  • 07:00 – Bus pick up at (1) Kent Ridge MRT [Bus stop ID: 18071, NUH] and (2) Dover MRT [Bus stop ID: 19031, Dover Stn]
  • 07:30 – Arrive at Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop and unload all logistics from the buses. Participants collect logistics – a pair of gloves and trash bags.
  • 07:45 – Safety Briefing for participants and the wet weather plans (carry on unless lighting threat). Identify the Trash Disposal Point (TDP; forward margin of Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop).
  • 08:00 – Cleanup begins.
  • 08:45 – Check on hydration levels; is everyone feeling okay?
  • 09:30 – Cleanup ends. Transport bags to the TDP.
  • 09:45 – Debrief including summary of trash collected.
  • 10:00 – Participants to clean up with water they bring to wipe themselves down.
  • 10:10 – Bus transports participants back to Dover and Kent Ridge MRTs.
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Meeting Points at Dover and Kent Ridge Stations for shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off.

Location of Jalan buroh B25 Bus stop


Location of Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop, indicated by the red triangle.

Things to note

  1. Transport to Pandan Mangroves, gloves, trash bags and weighing scales will be provided.
  2. For those intending to drive, do note that there are not public parking facilities nearby.
  3. You must wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  4. A change of t-shirt is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  5. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites and mud, but bermudas are fine.
  6. Water-proof your belongings.

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)
  4. Towel – wipe off sand and mud
  5. Extra water to wipe yourself down

Preparing for the cleanup

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a good breakfast – 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 SP2 for more information on the cleanup site.

Find out more about Singapore World Water Day 2016 here.
Thank you for caring for our planet this World Water Day!

Celebrating the spirit of the Independents on World Water Day!

Independents are volunteers who sign up for coastal cleanups independently of any organisation. They are motivated individuals who turn up to help at coastal cleanups without fanfare, goodie bags, t-shirts or souvenirs. They are only promised hard work, team work and the satisfaction of helping the planet.

ICCS Zone Captains who work alongside them are always gladdened by the experience!

My first close encounter with Independents was in 2010 when we worked at the coastal cleanup at Pasir Ris 6. I enjoyed the experience so much that wrote about it! Each time since, it has been just as heartening and yesterday, at the World Water Day mangrove clean-up at Sungei Pandan, hardworking Independents brought me great joy and motivation once again!

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Some Independents hard at work

The five friendly independents with me focused on the task as soon as we stepped into the mangrove. They took turns to record data and all ensured accuracy when categorising the trash. We steadily worked one area to the next, supporting each other. We had just met, but the high level of motivation about a common goal resulted in great effectiveness. 

Some of the great people in my team

Some of the great people in my team

With the right people, even data collation is fun!

With the right people, even data collation is fun!

Throughout the mangrove that afternoon, Independents worked with dedication and tirelessly until it was time to halt. The ICCS Otters were exchanging notes later in the night and were feeling glad to have met such individuals.

As Zone Captains, we work with many different people and groups. Some require more encouragement and support than others. Independents who show such great spirit, team work and effectiveness, motivate us to keep going with the task of coordination. ICCS Otters are in this for the long haul and many have kept working for over a decade – so it is important for us to work with such dedicated individuals.

To the Participants of World Water Day clean-up 2015, thank you for your enthusiasm and hard work. See you at the next cleanup!

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Recce for the World Water Day Mangrove Cleanup @ Sungei Pandan

ICCS celebrates World Water Day this year with a coastal cleanup at Sungei Pandan Mangrove, (the SP2 site) on Saturday the 21st of March 2015. In preparation for this, the South Zone Captain Lim Cheng Puay and myself headed down to the mangrove for a recce on 24 Feb 2015.

ICCS Map  Sungei Pandan mangrove

The tide was high (3.00pm – 2.8m; 4,00pm – 2.8m) and we were able to observe the mangrove from walking along Jalan Buroh. In the first photo below, you can see the mangroves right in the center of the picture, where the river curves slightly leftwards.

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Despite the high tide, accumulated trash was clearly seen on the strandline – and that was certainly a disconcerting sight. The mangrove was peppered with lots of styrofoam containers, plastic bags and disposable bottles – the usual suspects, along with aluminium cans and paper cups.

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It was not all trash – mudskippers, snails, and the work of mud lobsters and mangrove crabs were clearly evident. With critters like these living in the mangrove, it is essential that we volunteers pay attention to our surroundings and avoid trampling lobster mounds, pneumatophores and burrow holes. To minimize our impact, there will be a limit of 50 people for the World Water Day event and they will be well distributed over the site.

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Mud lobster mounds!

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Cheng Puay also introduced me to some wild Passiflora (passion fruit),
which has edible seeds like its cultivated cousin!

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This bus stop, along with another similar-sized sheltered area on the other side of the mangrove, will be the only places to shelter us from heavy rains in the case of bad weather. Here’s to hoping for a sunny 21st of March 2015!

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We will have to be careful about weaver ants too! Cheng Puay picked up a few fiery bites, and we will have warn participants about “weaved” leaves during the cleanup.

As our recce took place during high tide, a second recce will be conducted closer to the actual date. The muddy mangrove waters might be hiding trash in lower zones and mudflats from our sight, so a low tide inspection beckons!

Here are some photographs Cheng Puay took two years ago,
during low tide at Pandan Mangrove:
Pandan 2012 (cp) 01 Pandan 2012 (cp) 02

A second trash load is revealed during the low tide, with trash present even in between and around mangrove roots and participants will have to carefully navigate around mangrove structures to prevent damage.

We are looking forward to meeting our lovely volunteers that day, whom we have advised to come prepared with at least 1.5 liters of water and hard-soled covered shoes, preferably booties. Mosquito repellant and a hat is always handy! We will of course send them the “ICCS Advise to Participants” before the cleanup.

The effort to clear marine trash in the Sungei Pandan mangrove, a precious remnant of this ecosystem in the south of Singapore, has its origins in the mangrove mapping project at NUS in 1987! The first cleanup was organised in 2008 and tonnes of trash have been removed since and with great timing, the smooth-coated otter appears to have returned to the area! Read about that on Otterman’s blog, “Keeping old promises – clearing the trash in Sungei Pandan mangroves.”

It is great to be part of this, and visiting the cleanup site inspired me to sketch a watercolor piece which highlights the intricate ecosystem we are part of. Here’s to a meaningful and enjoyable World Water Day cleanup everyone!

World Water Day artwork 1000

Celebrate World Water Day with a coastal cleanup at Pandan Mangrove, Sat 21 Mar 2015: 4.00pm!

In conjunction with World Water Day, volunteers with the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) will be conducting a cleanup at Sungei Pandan mangrove on Sat 21 March 2015: 4.00pm – 6.00pm.

Registration for the World Water Day mangrove cleanup has closed! 

Thank you to everyone who has signed up!

WWD poster6

What is World Water Day? World Water Day is a day designated by the United Nations to highlight the importance of water and to advocate sustainable management of water resources. Why cleanup? Humanity needs water and wetland habitats are an integral part of the water cycle on this planet. Wetlands habitats are especially precious in Singapore and trash causes adverse impacts to wildlife, releases harmful chemicals and are an unsightly presence we should not tolerate! Coastal cleanups are conducted by volunteers around the world to remove this trash, raise awareness of the plight of our oceans and waterways and motivate us to rethink our habits in daily urban living towards sustainable practises.

IMG_2087   IMG_2135IMG_2070   IMG_2063

Sungei Pandan Mangrove: Sungei Pandan is a small but precious mangrove located in south-western Singapore at the mouth of the Sungei Pandan, and draining into the sea at West Coast. In order to protect this site, the annual ICCS was brought to Sungei Pandan mangrove in 2008 and the bulk of trash has been removed. However, there is still an annual recruitment of marine trash so year-round coastal cleanups like this World Water Day hope to address.

SP2 on Sg's mainland

Map of Sungei Pandan Mangrove in relation to Singapore. The site we will work on is Sungei Pandan 2 (SP2)

Screen shot 2015-03-16 at AM 10.37.12 IMG_2091

Volunteers will be picked up from Kent Ridge & Dover MRT bus stops and transported to this Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop which will be our briefing and trash disposal site.

Itinerary

15:30 – Bus pick up at (1) Dover MRT – on the side of Singapore Poly) and (2) Kent Ridge MRT – Opposite NUH) 16:00 – Arrive at Jalan Buroh B25 bus stop and unload all logistics from the buses. Organize everyone into groups of 4, apply insect repellant, collect gloves, trash bags, ICCS data cards, and other required logistics. 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) 16:30 – Cleanup begins 17:30 – Transportation of trash to TCP (next to Jalan Buroh B25) 18:00 – End of clean-up. Trash is weighed and discussion/ reflection time. 18:30 – Participants clean up. No toilets or other amenities nearby so participants must bring a small amount of water to wipe themselves down. 18:45 – Bus transports participants back from Jalan Buroh B25 to Dover and Kent Ridge MRT.

Map detailing the meeting points at Dover and Kent Ridge MRT:

Map detailing meeting points for World Water Day

Things to note

  1. Transport to Pandan Mangroves, gloves, trash bags and weighing scales will be provided.
  2. For those intending to drive, do note that there are not public parking facilities nearby.
  3. You must wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  4. A change of t-shirt is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  5. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites and mud, but bermudas are fine.
  6. Water-proof your belongings.

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)
  4. Towel – wipe off sand and mud
  5. Extra water to wipe yourself down

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 SP2 for more information on the cleanup site.

Thank you for caring for our planet this World Water Day!

Sign up here by the 11th of March 2015 if you want to join us!

Singapore World Water Day