Dec 12, 2007

Labrador Nature Reserve: Trashed?

A short low tide and drizzly, but Justin and I thought we should check out the situation at Labrador. The tide was still high when we arrived, so we decided to check the rest of the shore.

The signboard for the experiment was still lying on the shore. The original location of the signboard on the jetty above is obvious.
Work is currently being done on the jetty, it appears the railings are being replaced. Perhaps the signboard fell off during the work? Let's hope there is an effort to clean up anything that fell off the jetty in the process of the work.

The shore was pretty clear of debris until we got to the cofferdam.
At first I was very heartened to see that the seagrasses were still there near the cofferdam.
But alas, there was a large accumulation of rubbish right next to the cofferdam. As well as a large pile of concrete pillars, probably parts of the structure that was originally on the shore at that location.In addition to the assortment of marine litter, there were large blue boards on the shore. What are they and where did they come from? They looked like part of signage.
Looking further up the beach and the origin of this trash was immediately clear.There were many large ropes that looked like they were deliberately tied to the signage poles, and other junk near the deteriorating signage.And more trash and trashed structures.
A closer look at the signage.

We walked through the gap in the signage to look at the cofferdam.It's humungous. In the distance is a very large cruise ship coming in to the mainland.

The high shore at the cofferdam is festooned with an incredible amount of trash. Ropes, plastic, furniture. It was mind boggling.
Nevertheless, there was a row of various statues and offerings that appeared to be kept in good order despite the wet weather recently. So there must be someone coming regularly to take care of them.
And the tree there was still draped in yellow cloth with a well-kept statue under it, protected by plastic sheeting.
As we walked back to the entrance, Justin pointed out the trash that was deliberated stuffed into crevices in the natural cliffs.
From green fencing (probably the one that originally marked the boundary of Labrador), to a large tire and black trash bags.
And there was an abandoned outboard motor on the shore as well!
Justin points out that this was too heavy to have drifted up to the shore. It must have been deliberately abandoned here. We also saw parts of an achor, and other construction debris.

By the time we got back, the tide was lower but the light fast going out. Alas, the large concrete slabs were still on the shore.The rectangular ones further down the shore were still there. Including the one further in the water. By feeling around in the water, we ascertained the PVC pipes around the second concrete slab have been removed.

The triangular slab higher up on the shore was also still there.
And it was still falling apart.We also saw bits of PVC pipes here and there on the shore.

This picture kind of says it all ...
As Andy said it, our Nature Reserve deserves more respect than this.

I feel it's time ordinary people did something about the situation. What say you about organising a clean up to get rid of all this trash? There's a lot of it, and most are very large. But with enough people with strong hands and hearts, I believe it can be done.

Update on correspondence with Singapore Polytechnic: I have not heard from Singapore Polytechnic since my last email on 25 Nov. No response to questions following the Straits Times article about the concrete slabs, and no response to my offer to give a talk about the shores to staff and students at Singapore Polytechnic.

See also
Justin's Labrador Speaks a Thousand Words

beachbum's comments on updates on Labrador namely:

1. The Singapore Government (LKY’s time) reputedly spent $10 million to clean up our waterways in the 1980s.

2. Singapore Polytechnic's Environmental Policy (as of May 2005)
Singapore Polytechnic will protect, care for and continually improve our environment by complying with relevant legislation and requirements, and maintaining an effective Environmental Management System that enables us to create a cleaner and healthier environment for ourselves and future generations.

Additionally, Singapore Polytechnic's Green Pledge is
G reen our campus,
R educe, reuse and recycle,
E ducate ourselves on green issues,
E ncourage others to do likewise, and
N urture a love for our environment

that Parliament decided on two separate occasions to legislate that no one should dump anything on Singapore’s shores: PARKS & TREES ACT and ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH ACT


beachbum said...

There might be a serial number on the outboard motor. We should try to find it and figure out what brand and model too...that may help identify who dumped it.


No, this will not be the end of Labrador.


Because it still have a bunch of ppls who are concerned about it!

I will lend my hands to clear out the trash!