29 September 2012 – Raffles Museum Toddycats! were joined by three Keppel Club staff for the International Coastal Cleanup, Singapore at Berlayar Creek mangroves. Raffles Museum Toddycats were deployed here for the first time after four years at Pandan mangrove from the first cleanup in 2008.
Armed with trash bags, booties and data cards, 18 of us responded to our mission and spent an intensive 90 minutes removing marine debris of all sorts from the delicate mangrove site. Given the fragile environment of Berlayar Creek, we had to be extremely meticulous when manoeuvring through the aerial roots of the mangroves which is why ICCS Coordinator Sivasothi had entrusted this site to Toddycats.
Moving around the mud was a challenge for first-timers, as one of the volunteers experienced getting both her feet stuck in the mud. Fortunately, after several attempts and help from other volunteers, she was finally free.
It was an hour of hard work picking and cataloguing marine debris before we proceeded to move all the trash (including the bulky items) up the steep slopes and to the weighing point. The trash were then weighed for an indication of the marine debris load present at the site. After weighing was completed, all the trash was despatched to the Trash Disposal Point for pickup later.
First timers or no, this could be challenging as the TDP was a distance away, but all the volunteers put in their best effort and cleared a total of 23 bags of trash weighing 223kg (excluding many bulky items)!
The typical trash encountered during our cleanup included 130 plastic bags, 104 broken glass bottles, 56 food wrappers, containers, ropes and fishing lines. Other more unusual finds were tyres, lipsticks and numerous golf balls! A detailed breakdown of the marine debris we cleared is available online at the ICCS Results page.
During the cleanup, the intertidal wildlife present motivated us to remove harmful, non-biodegradable trash from their habitat. We were also heartened by the appreciation of the people visiting the area. Members of public approached us with questions and thanked us for our contributions to the environment
We were glad to do our bit for the environment and inadvertently help raise public awareness about the problem of marine trash!
Thank all volunteers for their hard work in ensuring the success of Raffles Museum Toddycats’ ICCS 2012 Berlayar Creek mangrove cleanup! Enjoy photos from this event on the ICCS Flickr page.
We look forward to your participation at ICCS 2013!