Saturday, June 09, 2012

Pasir Ris Site 6 Cleanup on World Oceans Day

8 June is World Oceans Day.
This year's theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.

To celebrate World Oceans Day, the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) organised beach cleanups at two beaches in the Northeast zone - Pasir Ris Site 6 (PR6) and Tanah Merah Site 7 (TM7).
On a drizzly Saturday morning, participants ranging from JC students, organisation and the general public came and did their part to remove as much trash as possible from the respective beaches.

Today I joined one of the locations for cleanup.
This whole stretch of shore is under PR6.

Pasir Ris Site 6 is no foreign land to me. Having organised the ICCS for my Secondary 2 students last year, I knew the amount trash this site contains. Many of us know that our beaches are cleaned every morning by contractors. However PR6 is not included in the cleaning process (probably due to low human usage?). Hence many trash either gets washed to the shore and gets trapped there, dumped or left behind by humans. Due to long negligence, many plastic products and other trash gets slowly buried in the oil smelling sand (the smell gets really bad deep in the sand).

A heavy rain started in the early morning and it was still drizzling when the cleanup began.
At 08:30, a small team gathered around BBQ pit 64 and Kai Scene, the NE zone captain for PR6 gave a briefing to those present. There were many who were either late or lost.
Short briefing by zone captain, Kai Scene
Gloves and trash bags were distributed after the briefing and everyone moved out to the cleaning area.
I moved as far out as possible to allow a wider coverage by the team. Actually the shore was really long and the furthest the team went was just past the discharge pipes. I started cleaning at the discharge pipe area while majority of the team worked at this stream covered with many plastics.
Lots of trash buried.
This part of the shore was of main concern. As seen from the image, there are simply too many plastics. We are not sure how much more plastics are buried in the sand at this stream. We tried to dig out and remove as many as possible.
Look at all the plastics on the surface
Soon after we started, more people found us and began their work too.
More participants coming in. Yay!
After 90 minutes of collection, it was time to start transporting the trash bags out to the weighing and drop off points. A human chain is the most effective way of moving the heavy bags out this long shore. A checkpoint had to be made as the human chain was not long enough to reach the BBQ pit.
Pass it on!
Continue passing
We collected about 1.1 tonnes of trash, using up all 140 trash bag the ICCS team bought and even using usable bags picked up from the cleanup. There was a tyre rolled out, a big blue industrial drum and some other containers.
ALL the trash we collected.
At pit 64, there was a mini outdoor class about the marine animals that can be found on this shore.
It was a tiring but meaningful day.

Read more about today's cleanup at PR6 and also at Tanah Merah Site 7 by the ICCS team.

While we were cleanup up beaches, Ria and her team checked out another Southern submerged reef - Terumbu Semakau.
Read about the special anemones the team encountered in Ria's post.

And... Kok Sheng is back in action and he visits Changi shore. Hope he is recovering well.
Read about his findings here.

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