Labrador Project revived

Labrador Rocky Shore is a mere “stone’s throw” away from NUS. It received a lot of attention from scientists here in the past, and in its heyday, generations of NUS students visited the rocky shore for biodiversity and ecology classes. The cliff forest and older secondary forest there also received attention for its botanical splendours and we were really lucky to have lovely park which had Singapore’s last mainland rocky shore lying just below.

It was by no accident that it still remained, it took effort to convince the government that it should remain, unlike the rest of the Pasir Panjang shore.

In the 90’s a few of us in The Habitat Group guided there infrequently, but that presence and attention allowed us to educate and to preempt some problems that would otherwise have threatened the shore. While the general public were usually unaware of the marine life on the rocky shore and so the public and school walks were extremely well received. The frustrating and significant problem then was the removal of corals and molluscs by poachers.

After 2000, some Toddycats stepped up to help and in 2004, the Labrador Park blog was started to supplement Habitatnews. By sharing stories, pictures and news, we were able to link to other people interested in this precious rocky shore. It worked well and then we provided many teachers and groups with resources to better explore the shore.

Subsequently, a group of undergraduates started regular research trips there, and we also conducted or coordinated a few cleanups due to the large amount of glass on the shore.

But eventually everyone left to start work or study overseas and the Labrador blog and coordinated activity has been dormant for awhile, at a time when Toddycats projects were being wound down to a more manageable number and frequency. Dinesh who frequents the shore had been keeping an eye on the shore and raised issues. And we realised there is a need for some structured presence there.

Now Justin has stepped up and together with Dinesh, they will be overseeing the revival of the Toddycats programme at Labrador Rocky Shore. Justin has already roped in a few Toddycats and besides public education and guide training, we will work with others who have an interest in bringing some “tender loving care” to the rocky shore.

To kick things off, current and former guides at the Labrador Rocky Shore will conduct a field trip for Toddycats and NUS undergraduates on the 8th of March 2008. We are starting out in our own backyard, so to speak, since many have not visited the shore before!

Look out for more news in future!

See Justin’s note on the Revival of Labrador Project!.

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