10 May 2016

Reefy East Coast Park with seagrasses and mangroves too!

Corals, seagrasses and other marine life have settled on artificial shores at East Coast Park!
This morning, a small team checked out the corals that settled on the seawall that is only exposed at super low spring tide. We also explored the seagrass meadows here and saw mangroves had settled too!

While the rest of the team bravely walked on the slippery seawall, I stayed on the high wall to take photos of the area.
Reefy seawalls and seagrass meadows at East Coast Park
I tried to take photos of the large corals growing on there. But failed. Here's a lovely photo shared by Arjun.
Photo by Arjun,
But I did see some smaller corals elsewhere.
Some of the rocks are covered in colourful life. Here we have Coin green seaweed, Pom pom red seaweed and a tiny red sea fan.
This rock is covered in Button zoanthids, where many Tiny red sea cucumbers have settled, as well as some sponges.
We came across a patch of many brittlestars. Some were crisping in the sun above the low water line, others were in the water. Did they just mate during the night high tide?
I saw one small Diadema sea urchin. Also many White sea urchins on the seagrass meadows. We also saw many skeletons of the Thick edged sand dollar, but didn't see any live ones.
There were many Haddon's carpet anemones in the seagrass meadows as well as a few Mini carpet anemones. And also many small Thorny sea cucumbers and Pink warty sea cucumbers. As well as Orange-striped hermit crabs, small fan shell clams.
There are also lush seagrass meadows in the lagoon.
The most common seagrasses here were Spoon seagrasses (both small and large leaf blades) and Needle seagrass (both skinny and broad leaf blades). There was also one small clump of Tape seagrass and a small patch of Noodle seagrass.
From above, I notice dark patches in the lagoon. Are they seagrasses too?
Here's a video of the seagrasses.
Seagrass meadows at East Coast Park
We walked right to end of the lagoon. Arjun pointed out the mangrove trees that have settled on the seawall.
Among the mangroves we saw were: Bakau pasir (Vulnerable), Api-api bulu, Bakau putih and Chengam.
How nice to walk along a shore planted by Mother Nature. With our very own wild trees and sea shore shrubs.
Among them, the Bonduc which is listed as 'Critically Endangered' in Singapore, with records of only three plants: in Pulau Semakau, Lazarus Island and Pulau Senang. I saw it during our trip in Jun 2015.
I saw someone in a small boat working on what seems to be a net laid on the reefy rock wall.
We saw two large fish traps on the seagrass meadows. And several abandoned nets. Most were already well covered in seaweeds and have become habitats for marine life. We usually don't remove such nets.
For a shore that isn't cleaned every day, the trash load is rather light.
Among the vegetation, there was what looked like a refrigerator packed with other trash. We also saw bottles and other trash coated in oil.
We arrived before dawn!
A glorious sunrise is always a treat during our predawn surveys!
The highlight of the day was to finally meet Arjun Sai Krishnan who shared with me some intriguing photos of corals at East Coast Park. As a result, Kok Sheng recced the area before a small team visited it for the first time in May 2015.
Arjun spotted lots of interesting marine life today, taught me about the birds in the forest and pointed out many things I would have missed. I'm glad I got to chance to meet him and give him copies of the marine guidesheets. Thank you Arjun!

Posts by others on this trip
Those on this trip include Lisa Lim, Arjun Sai Krishnan, Nicholas Yap.

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