6 years of seagrass monitoring! D:

[update 23 Feb: some links added] Last Sunday (19 Feb 2012) TeamSeagrass went to Pulau Semakau for yet another round of seagrass monitoring! It was my first seagrass monitoring trip for the year, as I missed the one at Chek Jawa in Jan.

There were a number of new faces in the group, but also, rather hearteningly, a fairly large number of young faces. Young being from age 16 to well, all those who are young at heart xD Basically schooling students. And it’s great! Hopefully they’ll stay on and continue volunteering with TeamSeagrass for the many years ahead. Which made me realise, this year would be my 6th year with TeamSeagrass D: Started out in Sec 3 (15 years old) doing a research project in Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary), using the data from monitoring the seagrasses at Labrador Nature Reserve’s beach. Scary much, because in school, everything is so ephemeral. Nothing lasts long, you’re never in any organisation for too long. Yet I’ve been with TeamSeagrass for so long! Feel so old xD

Anyways, we were gathered at Marina South pier, and right before we set off, there was a ritual celebration of sorts!

Some Kusu Island ritual, not too familiar with it :/

Large group of TeamSeagrass-ers! 🙂

We quickly arrived at Semakau, having taken a faster boat than usual, and were soon bashing our way through the short jungle trek and reaching the shore.

Siti giving a briefing to the relatively new volunteers before we start

Though the tide was still quite high, Ria, Wei Ling and Nor Aishah still went out in search of seagrass samples for teaching purposes

After the quick briefing and introduction to seagrass ID, we were split into our sites and headed off. I was at Site 2 with the other transect leaders Sean Yap and Gladys Chua, and following us were Ong Ruici, Zestin Soh, Sankar and Jose Hong. A pretty youthful bunch! 😀

We always seem to have difficulty located our stakes that mark out the transect, but this time we brought along new stakes to mark the spot! After a while, though the tide wasn’t optimally low (but was the lowest it could get, at 0.5), we started our transect.

On our left at transect 1, Sean, Zestin and Jose looking at their quadrat

On our right at transect 3, Gladys and Ruici having much difficulty trying to see past the turbid waters for the seagrass

After we finished with our monitoring, we had a quick look-see around before heading over to help Siti and her student Dawn with their project on seagrasses.

I didn’t see much, some sea cucumbers, usual sponges, crabs, snails, couple of pygmy squids and some swimming sea anemone.

A not-very-nice photo of one of the swimming anemones we saw.

These anemones are free-living, not attached to the substrate. They can temporarily attach themselves, as seen here, usually during low tide, according to WildSingapore.

After we finished helping with their project, we headed back to the main road for a quick wash before going back to mainland.

In all, it was nice to be out on shore again! Glad the weather held up, with the blazing hot sun and little wind, though towards the end there was more cloud cover.

Looking forward to more TeamSeagrass trips before I go over to the UK for my studies!

More posts on Sunday’s trip:
TeamSeagrass
Ria on Wild Shores of Singapore
Jerome Pang’s photos on Facebook
Mei Lin on Psychedelic Nature

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About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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