Shocked by FIVE kg of straws @ Tanah Merah Beach 7 – the World Environment Day Coastal Cleanup

On Saturday 6th June 2015, 52 participants removed more than 632kg of trash in 89 trash bags at Tanah Merah Beach 7. After an introduction to the site and procedural briefing, ICCS Deputy Coordinator Kai Scene conducted a comprehensive safety briefing.2015-06-06 08.10.28

ICCS Dy Coord Ng Kai Scene conducting the safety briefing before the cleanup

Straws stood out that day at Tanah Merah Beach 7. I overheard a few comments about the numerous straws on the beach and decided to focus on collecting straws alone. I ended up with a whopping 5kg of straws!

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As they cleaned the beach, participants observed the biodiversity at Tanah Merah Beach. The intertidal zone was covered in Tape seagrass (Enhalus Acoroides), and Batillaria snails (Batillaria zonalis), as well as burrows created by Sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera sp.) and Ghost crabs (Ocypode sp.)! I counted 24 casts from the Acorn Worm (Enteropneusta sp.), and 15 Haddon’s Carpet Anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

Furthermore, the low morning tide of 0.2m allowed us to witness the beautiful coral reefs of Tanah Merah! Sandpaper corals (Psammocora sp.), Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Pore corals (Porites sp.), Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.), and Favid Corals (family Faviidae) have been reported from here. Read more about the living reefs of Tanah Merah on Ria Tan’s blog post.

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After 90 minutes, we began to weigh the trash bags and formed a human chain to move them from the beach to the Trash Collection Point at the carpark. later that afternoon, a contractor detached by NEA’s Department of Public Cleanliness would later collect them. Everyone worked really hard together to transport the trash efficiently!

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With the hard work of the day accomplished, we debriefed the participants at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and discussed everyday solutions to reduce waste generation. Avoiding disposables by bringing your own tumbler and lunchbox begins to make a difference. Refusing a straw for your drink – and encouraging your friends and family to do the same begins to get us to think about upstream solutions.

These actions help us  reduce the amount of waste we send to incinerators in Singapore, but also begins to address our throw-away culture.

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Some of the 44 participants with the 89 bags of trash!

Congratulations to everyone who came down for the world Environment Day cleanup. See you at the next cleanup!

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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Join us in our First Year-round Cleanup at Tanah Merah!

Following up from our previous call for volunteers to help manage cleanups at Tanah Merah and our subsequent meeting at the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, the volunteer Site Buddies are getting the action going!

Site Buddy Gladys Chua has put out a call for interested members of the public to volunteer some of their Saturday morning time to cleanup up the beach at Tanah Merah.

First year-round cleanup @ Tanah Merah
Date: 11 February 201
Time: 8.00am to 10.00am
Venue: Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Departure Hall entrance/exit [ See map  for more details ] 

Gladys has put up a really comprehensive post detailing what the objectives are, the attire you should wear, items you should bring and how you can get there by public transport. Interested volunteers can register their interest by filling up the form on her blog!

 

We hope to see you at Tanah Merah on 11 February 2012!

Photos from the Zone/Site Captains

As the Zone and Site Captains reported in, some brought back photos that we uploaded in a jiffy and watched in the lab but erm, forgot to report here. The lab computers were crawling so they took a very long while to get online. For the record there was:

Kallang Basin by Ng Kai Scene

Lim Chu Kang mangroves by Dewi Anggraini

Kranji mangroves (a glimpse) by Dewi Anggraini

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)

Singapore Science Centre photos at Labrador Beach

The Singapore Science Center Photos are up on Flickr! See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30732487@N08

Posted by email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (posterous)

Fast Action at Punggol Beach!

This year, 240 enthuastic students from Sembawang Secondary School
tackled this man-made beach – they were so excited that they almost
forgot to record the data!

Armed with their own household plastic bags, they hunted high and low among the rocks to fill their bags.  At the end of the hour, they removed every plastic bag and bottles. And the main item of the 216kg worth of trash collected at Punggol this morning, styrofoam topped the list!

Thanks to Sembawang Secondary School. They came, collected and left a clean beach behind!

Lim Chen Kee
North East Zone Coordinator
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Posted by email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (posterous)