Okays, a post that was due a long time ago! Figured you guys wanted some pictorials by now. :D
“Yes, against the better judgement of all the rainy days in this current season (it was february then!), we went to Mandai Mangroves and Mudflats* (MMM). So it rained and it poured cats dogs monkeys and elephants (and for Kim, giraffes too). Still though, we had a fabulous time (: (or at least, I know I did!)
High tide water line can be seen on the propped roots of the Rhizophora, and a solitary seedling amongst the rest of the mangrove trees.
MMM littered. May not look as bad here, but it was really quite a load from where we were looking from. Big trash, small trash, all trash. This is where I’d talk about the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which is held annually, and all over the world!
And yes, Singapore has it too! Just do a simple internet search and you should be able to find information on it. Institutions and the public join and gather forces, moving to coastal and mangrove areas to do a clean up and weigh-in on the types and amount of trash collected – e.g. 43 tonnes at XYZ Beach, with 36,453 straws, etc.
Great stuff to do it, a big eye opener and again, awareness that hits people when they go ‘oh my, i didn’t know this much rubbish floated out here!’. Grace and I joined Siva one year and we did it at Pandan Mangroves. The year before that I was at Sungei Buloh. Both very different sites to work at, with different litter and characteristics.
Sometimes, TV sets and refrigerator frames are found as well! Tyres are common too, and more dangerously, hyperdermic needles and rusty nails too. Gunny sacks, PVC piping, all sorts of rubbish you can imagine!
Horseshoe crabs (HSCs) getting caught under fishing nets and lines, being unable to reach food for sustanance and water to keep its book gills moist for breathing, it died! Decomposing smell wafting up. :(
Rescue mission got underway with people snipping off abominable abandoned nets and lines and releasing some still-alive HSCs – yay!
With Malaysia opposite us, wading migratory birds way out in front of us, mud on us, us beside us, and static electricity making our hair stand as we walked around, it was really quite an experience!
1. Always wear booties, coz Wincent didn’t get to wade out
as far as we the booties people could, quite a waste!
2. Wear fitting longs – Anne’s longs were loose and the mud was
constantly sucking it down. Haha. Needless to say, not a nice experience.
Our brave team happily muddied, headed along Sungei Mandai Kechil.
Daniel exploring the river bank at top left, Wincent smiling to himself at top right, Grace mischievously taking a photo of unsuspecting Kim at bottom.
More pictures of what it was like. Siva’s in the orange cap,
Anne in the black shirt, Holly at bottom right picture.
3. Bring a proper poncho – not a groundsheet. Kim only realised her ‘poncho’
was actually a groundsheet when it started to rain, buggers.
4. Bring a poncho. Daniel didn’t have a poncho so used a garbage bag to cover
himself at first, and when that failed, he used it to cover his bag.
Wasp, Sea Holly, Two Collared Kingfishers, Peanut Worm, Onchs, Sandpiper. Look for the bird! Tip: 2pm direction if centre of photo is centre of clock.
Creatures! :D HSCs, mudcrabs, thundercrabs, all sorts of plants.
Seedling’s been barnacled!
Huge trees keeled over because of ground/mud erosion that’s happening more and more nowadays, what with the increase in wave energy resulting from increased activity along the shoreline, as well as damming of rivers preventing sediment flow into estuaries for deposition. That’s Evelyn delicately walking past the tree.
Photo of desolate-looking, dying mangrove trees at low tide.
Almost the core team of Backyard Biology, we’ll be having another field trip soon! This time to Tanah Merah side, where we’ll be exploring the area for the first time. Oh, and Daniel’s back in Toronto now I believe. Evelyn and I will be visiting him very soon when we leave for environmental biology studies at University of Toronto!”
*Don’t know about MMM? See an earlier post on 19th Feb. (: