23 October 2016

Awesome October at Ubin

Spending lots of time at Pulau Ubin as I take a break from shore surveys (no good low spring tides this time of the year).
Ivan Kwan sharing during the free monthly walk at Chek Jawa.
I had lots of fun with the Restore Ubin Mangrove (R.U.M.) Intiative. As well as volunteers of the Naked Hermit Crabs on our free monthly tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk.

17 October 2016

Huge barges grounded on Pulau Hantu, 16 Oct 2016

Yesterday, Chay Hoon shared a sighting of two large barges that appear to be grounded on Pulau Hantu Besar's smaller lagoon. Given that the width of the gap in the seawalls around the lagoon is about 90m (estimated from Google Earth), it seems unlikely that these 50m long barges ended up in the lagoon accidentally.
Photo by Toh Chay Hoon.
What is going on? And what shores might be affected by this incident.

[Update from MPA spokesman on 21 Oct: "In the early hours of 16 Oct 2016, there was a sudden squall. The two barges, ‘New Hopper 18’ and ‘H S Hopper 27’ dragged anchors from the Selat Pauh Anchorage and drifted into the adjacent Pulau Hantu lagoon. At the time of the incident, the barges were empty and there was no pollution or injury to the crew. Subsequently, the two barges were refloated during the high water on 17 Oct 2016 and re-anchored safely in the Selat Pauh Anchorage. MPA is investigating the incident."]

10 October 2016

Oil spill exercise: The solution to pollution still dilution?

The marine community was invited to observe the JOSE 2016 oil spill exercise last week, by kind invitation of the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA). I was very impressed by the smooth operation of multiple agencies in dealing with casualties and oil spills. And I am sure, there are many other practices and policies in place to prevent such oil spills in the first place, despite Singapore's status as the busiest port in the world. Bravo!
We observe the evacuation of a casualty from a VLCC.
But I am still a little dismayed with the reliance on dispersants as a first response, and alarmed with focus on developing capabilities to spray massive quantities of dispersants. Dispersants applied to oil spills interfere with natural processes that degrade oil, including oil-eating bacteria. Some naturally occurring microbes act like "oil-seeking missiles" that 'eat' and break up crude oil resulting in 'self-cleaning' effects, a study of the US Gulf of Mexico oil spill found.

05 October 2016

Two container ships collide while anchored off East Coast Park

Two anchored cargo ships collided in Singapore waters, sending 10 containers toppling from one ship to another. Another container fell into the sea in the crash.
Is this the Area A off Changi Naval Base
where the accident took place?
But no oil pollution or injuries were reported. The accident happened at Eastern Bunkering "A" near the Singapore Anchorage off Changi Naval Base on 30 Sep 2016 at about 6pm.

04 October 2016

Surveying Ubin's mangroves with R.U.M. volunteers

Last weekend, awesome RUMblers (as R.U.M. volunteers are called) completed our first mangrove flora surveys!
RUMblers surveying the mangroves.
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
We had lots of fun exploring Ubin!

30 September 2016

Fun with R.U.M. mangrove workshop!

I had lots of fun figuring out mangrove trees and plants last weekend. At a special workshop on mangrove flora ID by the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative and Leafmonkey Workshop.
The awesome mangrovers!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari
Thanks to enthusiastic support from an overwhelming response to the workshop!


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