04 March 2017

Fun in the rain with R.U.M.

Despite the wet and wild weather, I had a great time at the free monthly Ubin mangrove walk with the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Thanks to the hardcore volunteers and the most enthusiastic visitors we have had! The walk was to celebrate World Wildlife Day and thanks to many sharp eyes and ears, we spotted many of the iconic mangrove and Ubin wildlife on our walk!


As usual, thanks to Uncle Lim for allowing us to gather at his shop at no. 42 Pulau Ubin for the walk. It was lovely to meet on the walk, Thomas from Edible Gardens, the Little Green Men and many others passionate about mangroves and Pulau Ubin. Thank you for coming!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
During this walk, RUMblers (as R.U.M. volunteers are called) shared about why mangroves are important and how R.U.M. is working to restore them. Cheryl shared about why mangroves are especially important for those of us who love durians.
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Sumita shared about NParks restoration of abandoned aquaculture ponds into freshwater ponds which has attracted wild birds. Vanessa shared about a large heron that we saw at the pond!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
3 Mar is declared as World Wildlife Day by the UN, so we made a special effort to spot wildlife on our walk. Despite the wet weather, thanks to sharp eyes and ears, we saw hornbills, kingfishers, herons, macaques, oriental whip snake, Golden Orb web spider, cotton stainer bug and more!
Photos thanks to Mohammad Juhari and Little Green Men.
Juhari not only took great photos but also shared them on the spot so visitors could have a better view of the amazing wildlife on Ubin.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
Before we could go on, the heavens opened up and we hurried to the Assembly Area to wait for the weather to pass. To avoid lightning, falling branches and other dangers. About half an hour later, the visitors bravely headed out as the rain eased. The huge puddles all over the trail didn't stop us!
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
Fangning took this great opportunity to share how mangroves help to filter out muddy water that runs off the land whenever it rains. The tangle of roots slows down the flow, allowing the sediments to settle, so that clear water flows out to the nearby ecosystems like seagrass meadows and coral reefs.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
Fangning also shared about mangrove propagules. They are tough, they are abundant and they will grow rapidly if the ground conditions are suitable: correct elevation, tidal conditions. R.U.M. hopes to let Mother Nature do the planting by creating such ground conditions at Ubin's abandoned aquaculture ponds.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
We stopped for a while at the beach at Sungei Ubin. Where Phillip shared about fish farming and how farmers depend on mangroves to provide good water quality for their fish.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
We are so fortunate to  have Heire, who lives on Ubin, to share about life on Ubin and the social and cultural role of mangroves among the Ubin villagers.
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
Wow, we found this humungous pod that fell below a very tall tree.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
It has amazing winged seeds. Phillip says the seeds look like a phoenix!
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
Just before we end the walk, Phillip highlighted an old oven (said to be used to bake french bread) that has since been overgrown by a strangling fig.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Mar 2017
After the walk, Rachel and Lenney filmed Xiao Ting and me, for Ubin, Sayang a National Geographic film about R.U.M. Se Em was also at the walk to take photos.
Rachel Quek's team filming the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative
It started to drizzle quite persistently after we started shooting, and poor Xiao Ting was all wet by the end of the session. I take my hat off to the intrepid film team for this great work they are doing!
Rachel Quek's team filming the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative
As I arrived, from Ubin Jetty, I saw a fisherman laying a fishing net.
Fisherman laying net off fish farm at Pulau Ubin
The Changi Creek jetty used by fish farmers and Ubin villagers was very busy.
Changi Creek Jetty used by fish farmers

More photos of the walk by Mohammad Juhari, Part 1 and Part 2. And Liz Lim.

Check up the R.U.M. facebook page for updates on the R.U.M. free monthly mangrove walks.

R.U.M. volunteers also help out with mangrove cleanups, mangrove surveys, mangrove outreach and lots more!

Here's more details on volunteer opportunities with RUM, requirements and how to register.

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