Had a most enjoyable day last Saturday, 21 September 2013, one of the most awesome Saturdays one could ever ask for.
I woke up bright and early to head to Kranji East mangroves for International Coastal Cleanup Singapore’s annual cleanup. At Kranji East this year, we had Raffles Museum Toddycats and the NUS Biodiversity Crew, Jurong Secondary School and North Vista Secondary School ODAC.
I had initially meant to take the train to Dover, where Raffles Museum Toddycats had arranged for a bus pickup, but my parents decided to have breakfast with me before dropping me there directly.
After dropping me off at Kranji East, it wasn’t too long before the rest of the Toddycats/independents arrived, and Siva gave a briefing.
This site had a small but unstable slope down, so for safety’s sake we had a bit of rope for people to rappel down.
And as usual at most mangroves, trash is everywhere! I barely know where to start. Lots of rubber tubings at this site, and the usual food wrappers and drink bags (the kind the coffee shop uncle puts your kopi in when you ask for takeaway) all over. What got me the most this time were the many plastic bags adorning the trees.
You also always get the odd item in the mangroves, last year at Lim Chu Kang East mangroves we had huge oil drums (though I don’t think I blogged about it), and this year we have mattresses and a sofa. Maybe someone was intending to make the mangroves his/her home.
The tide was relatively low when we started about 8.30am, but quickly rose, and by the time it was about 10.30am, we would have been wading about had we still been at it.
Another interesting item was this skull, possibly a dog skull.
After we moved all the trash from the Trash Collection Points to the Trash Disposal Points, we headed back to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to wash the gloves and process the data.
A researcher in Japan was trying to use lighters to trace trash flow with currents (if I recall right), and so some of the Toddycats were sorting out where the lighters were collected and photographing them.
The Zone captains were also furiously processing and verifying data as data submissions from their various organisers streamed in.
The ICCS Otters are a bunch of highly motivated and efficient volunteers, and you can view the results of the 2013 cleanup here!
By about 3.00pm, we had to leave for our next activity. Sean Yap and I signed up for TeamSeagrass monitoring at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin in the evening, and Andy kindly drove us over to Changi Point Ferry Terminal at Changi Village.
After a quick ride in the minibus, we arrived at Chek Jawa and quickly headed out to the sea while the tide was still low.
Sean was ‘arrowed’ (targeted) by Siti (Science officer) and Rachel (NParks coordinator) to explain the different species of seagrasses found at Chek Jawa, since he’s been doing this for years.
We then quickly went off to do our monitoring. I was leading a transect line with Le Min and Yu Zhen, and I was really glad to see that the seagrass meadow of Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) was as lush as ever with Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) peeking out in between.
After we were done with our transect, we had a quick wander around before heading back.
The photos are all a little smaller than usual, cos I took these with my iPhone. Nonetheless, photos just serve to help capture the moment and preserve it in a more tangible form. Enjoying the moment is way more important, and I’m glad for the way I spent my last Saturday in Singapore for another year or so.