Friday, August 28, 2009

Sharing about our shores at NIE Learning Festival

July invited me earlier on to give a talk about our shores in Singapore for NIE Learning Festival 2009. I readily agreed since I thought it's a good opportunity to share about our lovely as well as secret-filled shores to friends in NIE.

The title is "Secret shores of Singapore", as adapted from Ria's original talk. I also made use of many of her slides for the talk as well as I can't resist not using her colourful slides.

It was glad to have a small group of new friends turned up today! And off we went to learn more about our shores.

I first shared about Sentosa, which is also my first love because it is the first shore that I've ever visited and I fell in love with it.

My next love is Chek Jawa, where I spent more than one year doing research there.

I did some additions to Ria's usual slides by sharing shores that we started to visit regularly recently.

And that includes the controversial Pasir Ris where now people probably feel uncomfortable with the shore and waters.

This is because the water quality is below acceptable-level and is filled with bacteria. Just days ago, the second annual check failed to meet the standards again. The public is advised not to swim in the waters.

Nevertheless, Pasir Ris is still home beautiful marine life and it is certainly not dead or mucked down with bacteria.

Of course, I am always excited to talk about our recent discoveries, this one at East Coast Park where it is just crowded with sea fans.

As well as the Tanah Merah shore which we have been visiting very regularly because it is FULL of surprises!

There is also the "suicidal zone" as named by James where one has to be extremely cautious in checking out the coral reef that grew there from nothing, since it is a reclaimed land. How amazing is that! So long as we leave our shores alone, marine life can come back and colonize an area.

On top of our splendid city and southern reefs, I also added portions on the submerged reefs in Singapore which we are beginning to explore them one by one.

Last but not least, the most important part is on how an individual can make a difference!

It was an interesting talk where friends get to be exposed first time to our rich marine habitats both above and underwater.

A good question asked by David who attended the talk was whether our waters are polluted since we are surrounded by petrochemical plants and surrounded by ships. That led me to talk about the existence of the splendous Cyrene Reef which is smacked in the middle of all the industrial works. Cyrene Reef is a good example whereby nature and development can coexist and we should preserve this reef and tell the rest of the world that this can be done. We should be proud of our Cyrene Reef!

The learning festival is organized by the Bachelor of Arts Club and it's very sweet to me to receive this thank you card as well as a happy teachers day badge from them. My first Teacher's day present of the year. Haha. And probably the only one, since I'm now not teaching any classes.

I look forward to share this talk more in the school I will be posted to in the future. Before that, a big thank you to all who came for the talk!

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