May 1, 2008

Shore extravaganza: Dugong Ambassadors at Chek Jawa

Today was a fabulous gathering of folks from the Naked Hermit Crabs, TeamSeagrass and more at Joseph Lai's amazing Dugong Ambassadors at Chek Jawa! This May Day outreach is also to celebrate International Year of the Reef. Here are some of the volunteers on the way to Ubin, checking out Siti's spiffy new educational materials fresh out from International Seagrass-Watch.The event involves the homeschool families, a delightful bunch of people we met earlier at Joseph Lai's Changi seashore walk and November's seashore blogging workshop. Here is the ever gentlemanly Andy making sure everyone gets on the jetty safely. It is also sponsored by Intel and their volunteers also turned up for the event.

The event started off with a very quick tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk. The Naked Hermit Crabs and friends of Joseph Lai brought everyone around.
Siti shared about mangrove trees.Andy shared about the critters in the mangroves.November had a very enthusiastic and large group of families.While Marcus enthralls with stories of civet cat poo ... in white circle.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of Ivan or Haliah at the tour. Others who guided included Andrew Tay, the creator of the fabulous Dugong Ambassador badge, Angie Ng and Dr Chua Ee Kiam.

Of course, what is the event without dugongs!Where do these come from?

Well, as I explained to those who asked, Australia has the largest number of dugongs and there are also dugongs in ... (at this point I would usually get cuffed on the head).

Sigh. OK lah...these fibreglass dugongs come from Ubin Lagoon Resort, now renamed to Kampong Ubin.

Shortly, we gathered for an inspiring launch by Joseph Lai.And immediately went on to the three simultaneous events!

First, there were designated Dugong Ambassadors who would set up at stations throughout Chek Jawa to explain to visitors about dugongs.Here's Joe explaining how to be a Dugong Ambassador.
And here's a very effective team of Dugong Ambassadors delighting a visitor with more information about dugongs!

Siti, November and young friend formed the Ambassadors who shared about seagrasses.They did a great job until Prof Teh Tiong Sa and Dr Raju turned up.Here's Siti, Prof Teh, Dr Raju, Dr Chua Ee Kiam and friend.

The ladies got distracted by Dr Raju's very manly super-Trimble.This is a way cool thing that can do not only x-y coordinates but also z coordinates. You have to be a shore researcher or geography person or just plain crazy about GIS to know why this is a Big Deal.

The ladies abandoned their young colleague to manage the seagrasses all on his own (tsk, tsk).Meanwhile, on the shores, there was a contingent of Intel staff and homeschool families out for Beach Cleanup.Despite the hot humid weather they combed through the back mangroves and hauled up all the trash they found there.MEANWHILE, back at House No. 1, Tham Pui San, Deborah Tay, Evelyn Mah, Joyce Lim, Evonne Tay, Hermie Van Laar, Adelene Yuen and Amy Sammy were busy with the mural!The homeschool kids helped at the mural, or simply expressed themselves on paper.Here's some of their amazing masterpieces...And a very proud artist with his snake art.

Intel provided a fabulous lunch. Not only getting it but also hauling it all the way to Chek Jawa.Now all is well with Siti, as long as there is food. Especially banana muffins.

A few of us were waylaid by enthusiastic young reporters.And all too soon, we had a group photo and it was time to go home.On the way back, we thought of having Nasi Lemak at Pak Ali's shop. And what a fabulous surprise!!There was LONTONG!! It's not a Sunday, and it's TWO o'clock! How is this possible?! We didn't ask too many questions and ate up whatever was left of the lontong. Yumm.

As I process the photos at home, I get a chance to better admire the mural. Wow, the marine life is certainly very realistically depicted. And so beautifully composed as well. And what's this? Could it be a SEA URCHIN? Wow, I wonder what species this is? ...

If you'd like to learn more about seagrasses and our shores, come for these upcoming talks!

3 May (Sat): Secret Shores of Singapore by Ria Tan
2pm at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

6 May (Tue): Seagrasses are not just for dugongs by Siti Maryam
11am at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

More links


Sam said...

the sea urchin looks like a pencil sea urchin with a bulbous anus...i think its a hybrid...we need to check with experts...*snigger*

SJ said...

Haha... nice one Sam! You never know! Hehe...

Great event! It's such a pity I couldn't make it... missed so much... Well, at least your post does the job for me! Cheers!