03 December 2009

Cyrene quickly with TeamSeagrass

Cyrene Reef is as usual, lush with seagrasses, overrun with Knobbly sea stars and dotted with hard and soft corals.
I was out with TeamSeagrass and had a quick look around after we were done monitoring.

My big AHA moment for the trip was when I realised finally, the huge patches of Ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) on Cyrene! I was supposed to show it to Siti's supervisor Prof Paul on our last trip, and I totally missed the huge patch. In fact, all along I thought these were big fat Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.).
Another first time encounter for me was this eye-poking orange, extremely long and quite scary bristleworm. It's the longest one I've ever seen and was quite actively squirming around the seagrasses.
Bristleworms, of course, have bristles. These transparent needle-like bristles can easily puncture through gloves and cause painful and nasty wounds. So I treat these worms with respect.
I had a quick look around the coral rubble area near the departure point. Some parts are thick with soft corals of all kinds and colours.
There were some nervous little white fan worms.
And a little octopus stuck out its arms before disappearing back into its lair.
Kok Sheng, as usual, was much better at spotting lots of interesting and special animals on Cyrene Reef. See his blog for all the photos and stories.

What is particularly amazing about the rich marine life at Cyrene is that this Reef is surrounded on all sides by major industries and huge facilities. Here's Abigayle doing seagrass monitoring on the vast meadows of Cyrene with the Pasir Panjang container terminals in the background.
Here's Cyrene's living sandy shores with the petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom busy creating clouds.
And Jurong Island bristling with more petrochemical industries. This was taken before we arrived on Cyrene, which is marked by the orange beacon.
A closer look at the orange beacon, and the huge barge next to it carrying cement mixers!
The waters around Cyrene are major shipping lanes with huge container ships passing by regularly.
We did have quite a nice sunset!
On the way in, we had a closer look at the massive project to create a new container terminal next to the Labrador shore and opposite Sentosa's natural shores, and also quite close to Cyrene Reef. Here's a map of the work site in green, Cyrene Reef marked in yellow.
And a view of the work site on this trip.
It seems the pilings for the new container terminal are taking shape.
To illustrate just how humungous these are, here is the typical workboat next to the structures.
There's lots of heavy equipment on barges in the area.
And gigantic piles of sand for the reclamation in the area.
Let's hope all these works don't impact the natural shores nearby too much.

TeamSeagrass monitors the seagrasses at Labrador, Sentosa and Cyrene Reef. Hopefully these efforts will help keep track of how these natural shores are coping.

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