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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.


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

Pandan Mangrove revisited – back mangrove cut, less trash but still a sensitive site!

ICCS Pandan Mangrove Recce, 27 May 2013 by South Zone Captain Kelly Ong.

In support of our work at ICCS, my colleague Eric Kong has kindly offered to drive me all the way to the site again for the recce this year – thanks Eric!

We reached the mangrove around 3pm where there was a receding tide at 1.5m. The first thing which caught our attention was the clearing of the back mangrove vegetation behind bus-stop 25. What was the reason for that, I wondered?

Stumps and fallen branches of the trees were found in patches alongside the mangroves (see the photo below). This has made it easier to access the mangrove.


The trash load was medium-low – a great improvement since we first started cleaning up this mangrove patch some six years ago. But still an eyesore! We felt the itch to cleanup right away!

Items that we dispose of irresponsibly will end up in our waterways!

Lots of plastic bottles, food wrappers and containers, most likely washed in from the rising tide could be seen as usual.

A nice view of the mangrove if not for the trash!

Pandan mangrove will still be a good site for Organisers who want to present their participants with the added challenge of wading into the mud. Participants will have to walk mindfully to reduce impact to mangrove plant roots while removing the scattered trash.

A final recce nearer to the cleanup date with those who have chosen the site will be necessary to identity respective entry points.

Lets get ready for the action the 21st of September!

A burden of plastics relieved from Pandan mangrove – more than 900kg categorised, counted and removed!

High spirits filled the air under the beautiful early morning light and clear blue sky of the 8th of September 2012 as 90 volunteers from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, FMC Technologies, Nexus International School and Earthlink NTU gathered at Jalan Buroh bus stop number 25 for the fifth year of the annual Pandan mangrove cleanup for ICCS.

Site buddy Grace Ang got to serious work very quickly and inspired the young local and overseas tertiary students with her patient encouragement and by being a great and enthusiastic role-model.

Site buddy Grace Ang at work! Photo by Eric Kong

Our cool ‘lone ranger’ independent volunteer Nasrul turn up at the perfect timing and went all the way out into the mud to pick up any trash in sight!

Some interesting finds this year include a huge bag of shattered glass pieces and old furniture by Nexus International School.  The WRS ladies were as strong as the guys and impressed all with their muscle power and persistence in clearing a long heavy roll of nylon rope!

WRS folks huffing and puffing! Photo by Eric Kong.

Independent volunteer Nasrul waded into the mud
to remove abandoned crab traps!

Nasrul and I found two abandoned crab net-traps and during removal and we gasped when we saw a horseshoe crab beneath them! We were so glad it was alive and left it alone in the mud.

All in all, the 90 of us in total filled 65 trash bags with 5,004 items which we categorised and disposed, weighing more than 900kg of trash at Pandan Mangrove! Plastics bags numbering 1,881 and 676 food wrappers once again dominated the items collected at the fifth annual cleanup of this mangrove.

 FMC technologies’s professional trash weighing team! Photo by Eric Kong

After the hard work of the cleanup, smiles lit up everyone’s faces and I know it is a day each of us shall remember, making a difference for one of Singapore’s last remaining patches of mangrove.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore!

More photos:

  • Wildlife Reserves Singapore album – link
  • FMC Technologies – link

View the results – link

ICCS Pandan Top Ten Results 2012

Serenity in Pandan Mangrove. Photo by Eric Kong.

Examining the trash challenge at Pandan Mangrove

ICCS Pandan Mangrove Recce, 13 May 2011 – I brought my colleague along to the mangrove edge whilst working around the area, to share more about the ICCS programme that is part of my life! We reached Pandan mangrove during a nice low tide of <1m around 4pm.

Although there was some amount of trash littering this tiny and little known mangrove, the situation now is so much better than when we first started work here four years ago!

Common trash found are plastic bottles, food packaging, plastic containers that have been brought in by the waters or dumped illegally.

The Pandan Mangrove cleanup has always been anchored tackled by enthusiastic participants who dare to get dirty and do serious work. We sure look forward to another exciting clean up come 17 September!

Oh, and just before we left, here was what we saw:

The wonders of mother nature! : ) What a beautiful sight to end our recce!

The first Pandan Mangrove cleanup was a success!

Pandan Mangroves

The first Pandan mangroves was tackled by participants from first-time organisers Oil Spill Response and East Asia Response Limited (OSREARL) and Wild Life Reserves Singapore (WRS). Accompanied by Raffles Museum Toddycats from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the 53 volunteers collected and cleared a total of 1.37 tonnes of trash.

Gearing into action in the fresh morning air at 7.45am, the participants picked their way through the delicate terrain of mangrove saplings and breathing roots. The items that dominated the terrain were plastic bags (1,296), food wrappers (826) and beverage bottles (444). But there were some peculiar items found, and these included traffic barrier lights, half of a vacuum cleaner, a rice cooker, a wooden statue of smiling Buddha, a golf bag and a lot of plastic pipes.

The mangrove resident that attracted the most attention was a pair of horseshoe crabs that were found in the trash disposal path – too dangerous for the coupling pair so they were transported to the opposite bank where we had already finished cleaning.

Only a small part of the mangrove was cleared this first year in order to manage impact to the site. And in the areas we cleared, some things were left behind -the very heavy compressed gas cylinders and trash that were intertwined with the mangrove vegetation. One thing we could not bear to leave behind were a bunch of tyres we had observed during the recce. Just as we were relaxing after the cleanup, a chain-gang was initiated and 39 tyres were removed, which weighed an estimated 744kg (they must have weighed much more!) This would help reduce mosquito-dwelling freshwater at the site.

The decision to tackle Pandan Mangrove was made only two week earlier – however, last minute requests for trash disposal was met with very kindly by National Environment Agency and Sembenviro who sent a truck to collect the more than 100 bags of trash and the many bulky items left behind at that quiet bus stop along Jalan Buroh!

Kelly Ong,
West Zone Coordinator,
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

The trash load from Pandan

39 Tyres Taken Out of Pandan Mangroves!

The 53 participants emerged out of Pandan Mangroves with 1.37 tonnes of trash that included 744kg of tyres (a very conservative estimate), about 1,300 plastic bags, 800 food wrappers and more than 400 plastic bottles! They had an early start at 7:45am, and so were the first to report their data, and now they have trooped off for lunch.

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Posted by email from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (posterous)