27 April 2017

Changi seagrasses four months after the oil spill

A quick look at a Changi shore for impacts of the 300-tonne oil spill in the East Johor Strait that landed here four months ago.
Oil sheen on Changi four months after East Johor oil spill
I heard that oil landed on this part of Changi during the East Johor oil spill four months ago. This morning, I saw a small patch of oil sheen on the high shore. But I did not see actual brown puddles of oil. And I did not see any bleaching seagrasses.

The shore seemed similar to our survey here last month. It was reassuring to see lots of sea cucumbers big and small of various kinds. The most abundant were Thorny sea cucumbers and Pink warty sea cucumbers. There were also some small Orange sea cucumbers. I saw one small Garlic bread sea cucumber and a Smooth sea cucumber. Jose also saw a Ball sea cucumber.
There were many tiny to small Biscuit sea stars. Some small Plain sand stars. I saw the imprint of one Common sea star but could not find the actual animal! Jose also saw a small Knobbly sea star.
There were also many tiny brittle stars everywhere. Which I only noticed when I was processing the photos after I got home! There were on other animals and on the seagrasses.
It is heartening to see signs of buried worms like Acorn worms. Oil and toxic dispersants tend to seep into the ground and can harm burrowing creatures. There were a few medium sized Orange-striped hermit crabs. I saw one Peachia anemone. Jose spotted some carpet anemones and a cerianthid.
The shore remains covered in lush growths of Spoon seagrass and Needle seagrass.
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.)
Still there, the small patch of Smooth ribbon seagrass near the mid-water mark which we first spotted in Aug 2016.
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata)
The tide rose even before the sun, so Jose and I left while it was still dark. Thanks to Jose for waking me up before I totally missed the tide! Thanks also to him for doing most of the survey!

Here's Jose Hong's sightings for that day.

On 28 Apr, Jianlin Liu surveyed the seagrasses of Carpark 1 and Carpark 4 and reported that the seagrasses were green and thick, no bleaching seen. There remains lots of echinoderms of various kinds.

A trip by Nature Photographic Society (Singapore) to Changi Carpark 1, apparently during this low tide cyle.

Posts about the Jan 2017 Johor Strait oil spill
Survey on 10 Feb, one month after the oil spill
Other surveys and news posts


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