Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tanah Merah cleanup on World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day! And the best way to commemorate this day is to do our bit for the environment. Especially so after the gruesome oil spill that occured recently.

19 of us were at Tanah Merah shore this morning for a beach cleanup organized by Andy.

As you can see from this photo, the high shore water level mark is strewn with lots of litter. And our focus today was to remove plastic bottles and other light debris which may be coated with crude oil from the shore.

Though Tanah Merah seems to be quite badly hit by the oil spill, there are still lots of marine life that are clinging on! Read more about life after the spill here by Ria and here by Ron.

Why remove these debris that may be coated with crude oil? It is because they are likely to remain in the ecosystem and cause further harm to living creatures unless they are removed.

The shore is quite large so we spread ourselves quite evenly to cover as much as possible. Though it rained at the beginning, we persisted on and worked hard to remove these thrash from our shores.

Here a small team of them working on removing the littered and drifted items on the high shore. While littering is an issue, many of these items are believed to be floated landwards from neighbouring countries or the nearby ships that park off Singapore Straits.

Some of us went the extra mile to pick up thrash from the lower shore as well despite having to be wet.

At the end of the day, we gathered the thrash bags and placed them at the high shores. NEA has kindly offered to help by later disposing them for us.

How did we fare? From Andy's debrief, 19 of us cleared about 85 thrash bags worth of litter in about 2 hours! Great job everyone!

And here's the before and after photo comparison of the shore! :)

I had a quick look at the sandy part that was exposed during the moderate low tide and I was glad to see surviving creatures such as the acorn worms, snails, crabs, gobies, sand bubbler crabs etc.

It was heartening that we could make a difference to the shores by removing these threats that may have long term effect on our marine life. Though we can't do much about the oil spill, let us do what we can as individuals to contribute back towards the environment that we live in.

More photos of the day here:

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