29 August 2016

'Orange' water at Berlayar Creek

Berlayar Creek is a lovely natural stream edged by wild mangroves right next to Labrador MRT station. A boardwalk with two look outs allows you to enjoy the wildlife that live there.
I had heard that there was 'pollution' from upstream works that was starting to affect the mangrove trees there. The water in the Creek was indeed very orange, reminding me of the time when clay from a worksite was discharged into a mangrove at Punggol. But I didn't see large numbers of dead trees. So far, the mangroves seem good.

On Friday 26 Aug, the tide was high and I did a quick check on the stream next to the MRT station. The water was very orange, but the trees looked green and healthy.
On Sunday 28 Aug, I returned for a closer look. The tide was low and the orange layer was more obvious here.
The water was orange and opaque. An orange layer coated the banks from the high water mark downwards.
The roots of mangrove trees and the lower leaves that are submerged at high tide were coated in orange. If the orange stuff is clay and it hardens, it may make it difficult for the tree roots to function properly.
Small magrove saplings were also coated.
There were spongy mats of seaweeds growing on the banks, dotted with little snails. They were also coated in orange.
I continued to see the orange water and coating as I walked along the boardwalk towards the sea.
 At the first lookout/shelter, the water was still quite orange and opaque.
But the surrounding mangroves were still lush and green.
As I walked closer to the sea, the water became less orange. And the coating of orange on the plants seemed less severe.
The water at the second lookout/shelter was not so orange, and more greenish. It was also quite clear.
The water at the mouth of Berlayar Creek was the usual greenish, with an orange tint.
Trees were lush and green even along side Keppel Golf Club.
The water along the seawall at the Berlayar extension of Labrador Park was the usual greenish and quite clear. There were, as usual, many people fishing along the seawall.
Many of the mangrove trees and plants were blooming and producing fruits and propagules.
During my stroll, I came across a cute little Plantain squirrel, as a lazy Malayan water monitor.
I also came across a few birds.
At first, I thought it was a bird's nest, but it's a hornets' nest! This is why it is dangerous to bash through mangrove forests! The song of cicadas also rang out through the mangroves.
Last year, I was lucky to see otters in Berlayar Creek. Hope they don't get affected by the orange water.
Smooth-coated otters at berlayar creek
Near the MRT station, a father pointed out turtles to his kids. He said he sees them all the time. I saw one and I can't be sure what it is exactly. If they are red-eared sliders, they are freshwater turtles and will probably not do well in seawater. Oh dear. Please don't release your pets into the wild. It is cruel and may harm the ecosystem too.
Just before heading back, had a look at Sentosa's last bit of natural rocky shore and cliff at Tanjung Rimau as the haze eased up.
Oh dear. Is some kind of plant clearing going on at the upper slopes of the cliff? Hope it doesn't affect the stability of the slope or the special wild plants that grow there.
The team last visited the shores at the mouth of Berlayar Creek in Apr 2016 and saw some wonderful marine life.

I do hope the 'orange' water will be resolved and that it doesn't harm the mangroves or marine life at Berlayar Creek.

High res photos of 'orange' water at Berlayar Creek for download on flickr here

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