06 June 2010

Shore lovers check up on Chek Jawa after the oil spill

Ordinary people continued to visit Chek Jawa and other shores affected by the oil slick. To document and share what they saw.
"Today I saw two Great-billed Herons on Chek Jawa, curling their necks in embrace. They stopped and embraced four times while walking together in the lagoon." Photo and story by Joseph Lai.

Here's a compilation of what has been shared, links also on the Oil Spill Facebook page

Andy gave an account of the cleanup at Chek Jawa on 29 May 24 hours after crude was first sighted there. Andy did not see many dead animals and was worried that all the dead creatures were on the bottom or had joined the flow of the ebbing tide away from the shore. But he added that the low tide later that evening did not show any dead creatures. Read his detailed account of how the crude was dealt with and see the many photos he shared on his flickr.

Joseph Lai literally had good tidings of Chek Jawa as he shared what he saw on 30 May.
Sharing lots of photos of Chek Jawa, he adds: "Chek Jawa looking good and pristine as ever. When you look at the pure white sand and the unstained rocks and roots of mangrove trees... and the clear water at the shore... you can easily imagine Chek Jawa smiling at all of us!"

Joseph Lai shared more poetry and pictures from his trip to Chek Jawa on 2 Jun, adding that "All is well and swell; no oil slick at lagoon and sandbars."

On the Oil Spill Facebook page more sightings were shared:

Annabelle Ng shared photos of a trip to Chek Jawa on 4 Jun.
She shared that "the sandbar, mudflats and seagrass seem to have been spared the oil - not even the smell of oil or anything. It's the habitats much closer to the high water line that may have issues. I heard there was still some oil left on the mangroves etc but will need to take a look at photos that were taken by other people to confirm."

While Belinda Tan shared many photos of the oil slick when it first hit the East Coast on 26 May.

Other shores

Chun Fong shared what Travis, Grace and she found on 30 May, on a long but remote shore that is seldom visited, dubbed the "Lost Coast". Her final remark: "Despite the contamination of this pristine coast with oil from the oil spill, apparently the impact from the oil spill was not as serious as we had expected. However my take is that the impact of the oil spill may in time prove to be much larger than we could presently imagine, hence we cannot in the meantime regard the aftermath of the oil spill as trivial."

As Chek Jawa was well cared for, a few of us had a look at the orphaned Tanah Merah shore on 2 Jun and made an effort to clear up oil-slicked debris from this forgotten shore on 5 Jun.

Can ordinary people help to monitor the health of our shores?

Yes, you can. Monitoring of seagrasses have been ongoing since 2007. TeamSeagrass is made up of ordinary people who volunteer to watch the seagrasses in various sites in Singapore, including Chek Jawa, Pulau Semakau, Cyrene Reef, Labrador, Sentosa and Tuas.

You can also help monitor our marine life in other ways. ReefFriends is programme by the Blue Water Volunteers to do regular surveys of our reefs. They welcome dedicated and serious volunteer divers.

Here's an earlier post summarising earlier reports shared by ordinary people about shores affected by the oil slick.

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