Jul 31, 2008

Dredging and dumping at Jurong and at Labrador

AND (ii)
from PORT MARINE NOTICE, NO. 140 OF 2008 dated 31 Jul 2008

This is a revision of Port Marine Notice No 106 of 2008.

The working area at PPT has been revised and working period extended.

With effect from 1 Aug 08 to 31 Jan 09

DREDGING AREA: Area 1, Eastern part of Singapore (wildfilms note: no map included of this area in the Port Notice)

DUMPING AREA (Jurong Island Project – Working Area A & B)DUMPING AREA (Pasir Panjang Terminal Project – Working Area 6)
24 hours daily including Sundays and Public Holidays.

The reclamation works will involve dredging by Trailer-Suction-Hopper-Dredger (TSHD) at Area 1.

Area 1 extends from the Singapore Port Limit into the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) within the Singapore Strait.

All dredged materials will be dumped at Jurong Island project (see Working Area A and B of plan Attachment-1) and Jurong Island LNG project (see Working Area C of plan Attachment-1) and Pasir Panjang Terminal project (See Working Area 6 of plan Attachment-2)

Further enquiries relating to the project can be directed to the following Project Co-ordinators:

Jurong Island project and Jurong Island LNG project: Mr. A. Muhaimin at Tel No: 98178572, email: muhaimin@pkdbh.com.sg; and

Pasir Panjang Terminal project: Mr. Y. Abe at Tel No: 9664 8810, email: y.abe@mypenta.net .

Cyrene Reef exhibit at the Raffles Museum from 12 Aug

Singapore’s Natural Heritage - Cyrene Reef

Located west of Labrador Beach, between Pulau Bukom and Jurong Island, Cyrene Reef is situated in the middle of a busy shipping lane. The wonders of this reef are only reveal at low tides. Flaunting a long sand bar flanked by lush sea-grass meadows and lagoons of coral rubble, Cyrene Reef is rich in marine diversity despite its proximity to offshore refineries and other developments.

This small exhibit showcases the beauty of Cyrene Reef and its inhabitants.

from the RMBR news blog

More about Cyrene Reef.

More about the RMBR public gallery and how to get there.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm (Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays)
Location: Block S6, Level 3, National University of Singapore, Science Drive 2
Website: http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/
Contact: 6516-5082

Changi: A closer look

3am and we're on Changi for the last of this year's morning spring low tides. We've learnt that it pays to take a closer look when out on the shores.This patch of shore may look boring at first glance, but it has lots of interesting animals! Can you see at least four of them? OK, the photo is rather low res.There was a mantis shrimp at the top left corner. This hunter has snazzy fold-up pincers that resemble the arms of the more familiar insect, the praying mantis. It's not a true shrimp and belongs to a separate Order Stomatopoda.In the middle is a living Gong gong (Strombus canarium), its pair of eyes on stalks sticking out from under the well camouflaged shell.On either side of the snail, the tiniest little Striped hermit crab (Clibanarius sp.) that I've seen. And a tiny scorpion fish, probably Paracentropogon longispinis. Indeed we saw lots of fishes today at Changi. Here's more about the fishes we saw today.

Taking a closer look at the many Window pane shells (Placuna sp.) on the shores, I noticed fuzzy stuff on the surface of one.They are the feathery tentacles of keelworms (Family Serpulidae) that settled on the shell!Here's a closer look at another bunch of keelworms that settled on a log on the shore.Hard surfaces also provide a place for animals such as hydroids to settle.Although they look like colourful plants, these are actually colonies of tiny animals.Here's a closer look at the individual polyps that make up the colony.And another look.

I also came across a strange looking sea anemone.After I took a close look, I realised it had much longer tentacles!But these were so transparent I nearly missed them!

Even large animals are well hidden! Such as the ghost crabs!The ghost crabs (Ocypode cerathophthalmus) come out of their burrows at night but it appears, even when they are out hunting on the shores, they can skulk half buried in the sand!Ghost crabs move really fast!Here's one that's settled down to let us take a photo of it.

Today the tide was really low so we could venture out quite far. Where we saw a Bailer snail (Melo melo)!In our explorations, we have only seen this snail regularly at Beting Bronok. It's nice to see it also on Changi.

We also saw lots of sea cucumbers today, as well as other echinoderms. More about these sightings.

Also seen today, several small carpet anemones (Stichodactyla sp.), lots of big white sea urchins (Salmacis sp.), a large Peacock sole (Pardachirus pavoninus) in deeper water, some moon crabs, lots of swimming crabs of all sizes, plenty of hermit crabs many with anemones on their shells, many 'pencil' sea pens, and many active moon snails (mostly Polinices didyma).

Missing today: big peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia) (there were a few of the smaller kind), button snail shells (Umbonium vestiarum).

Fishes at Changi

There were lots of tiny little fishes among the seagrasses at Changi this morning.A really tiny butterflyfish! It's probably a Kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus).A miniscule filefish (Family Monacanthidae) with an even tinier nearly transparent fish swimming above it. Only its golden eyes are obvious!Another tiny black fish. I have no idea what it is. It was too tiny and moving about too much to take a good shot of.

Of course Changi has other fabulous fishes that are larger, but still require a keen eye to spot. These were all found by Master Seeker Chay Hoon.A rather large seahorse that's hairy (Hippocampus kuda).A beautiful Feathery filefish (Chaetodermis penicilligerus).This is probably a fang-blenny (Family Blennidae).

And several fishes that I have no idea of their identity. This is probably a flathead (Family Platycephalidae) although it's not very flat.And another flathead.And this odd little fish with a pair of bristles under its chin.

Seagrass meadows such as those on Changi are a nursery for baby fishes. Some of which are important species to fishermen. Among those seen today were Rabbitfishes (Family Siganidae) and this perch, probably Pelates quadrilineatus .There were also lots of prawns among the seagrasses.

Conserving seagrasses at nearby Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu will allow everyone to enjoy fishes and other marinelife. Protected seagrasses provide a safe place for young fishes to grow up and populate the surrounding waters.

Curious Cucumbers of Changi

This morning, we seemed to have encountered quite a few strange sea cucumbers on Changi. Although the common name is sea cucumber, these are animals and not vegetables. They belong to Phylum Echinodermata which includes sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars and feather stars.Marcus found this cuke. This is the second time we've seen it, the first time also on Changi. It has an obvious underside and not very long tube feet.

Robin was very interested in having a look at it, but we didn't find it when we went with him. At first, I thought the sea cucumber above was a 'cleaned up' version of the sea cucumber below. But when we went sea cucumber searching with Robin a few months ago, he pointed out that this 'sandy' sea cucumber is not covered with sand. It actually resembles sand in texture and colour!And here was another strange sea cucumber tucked up against a Window pane shell and other debris. It had really long tube feet arranged in rows along the body.And YET another sea cucumber that I can't recognise. It seems to have its long tube feet in rows along the length of the body.There was this elongated sea cucumber with tube feet all over the body. It was very active, moving about in the water, stretching out and contracting. I'm not sure if it's a rather active Ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.) or some other kind of sea cucumber.Of course, there were lots Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) which have soft 'thorns' on the upperside and a distinct underside with rows of little red tube feet.Less commonly seen is the Warty sea cucumber (Cercodemas anceps). Also seen were lots of ball sea cucumbers buried in the sand bars (Phyllophorus sp.) together with smooth sea cucumbers. As well as one Sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra).

Changi is a great site for echinoderms!

Today we saw more sand dollars than usual. Usually, we see only a handful. But today, there were quite a few close to one another on several parts of the shores.There were lots of sand stars (Astropecten sp.) of various sizes.And one star with only one complete arm!
There were also tiny ones with a different pattern.
Several of them actually.And here's another one.
We will await Kok Sheng's study to find out whether these sea stars are different species or just different patterns of the same species.

If anyone has ideas of about the identities of these animals, please do share. Constructive views are always welcomed so that we together we can learn more about our shores.

Kok Sheng saw even more splendid stars today at a different part of Changi! More on his wonderful creations blog.

Jul 29, 2008

Feedback requested for a Sustainable Singapore

[update: at mid-point of the feedback gathering process, not many voices for our wild shores. Please speak up for our shores.]

Here's an opportunity to speak up for our wild places ...

From the Sustainable Singapore page on the MEWR website:

As a responsible member of the international community, Singapore would want to play our part in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. We would also wish to sustain economic growth and maintain our quality of life. By being more efficient in the way we use resources, Singapore would be contributing towards reducing carbon emissions while positioning ourselves well for a more carbon-constrained world that may emerge if ongoing negotiations on climate change result in a post-2012 global agreement.

The vision:

Sustainable development for Singapore means being able to support future economic and population growth while maintaining a quality living environment that is clean, green and healthy.

The vision for Singapore is to be a lively and liveable global city – a city that is distinctive in its ability to offer a unique combination of economic opportunity, vibrant lifestyle and quality environment, for a cosmopolitan population, providing a good home for current and future generations of Singaporeans. It would also be a city that continues to be attractive to the foreign talent and investments which help us to grow the economy and high-value jobs.

Priority Areas:

To achieve this vision and address the domestic and international challenges which are emerging, the IMCSD will focus its efforts on three priority areas:
  • Resource management
  • Pollution control
  • Quality of the physical environment.
Concurrently, further efforts will be made on two supporting fronts –
  • encouraging people and industries to adopt practices that are sustainable in the long term and
  • developing new capabilities and technologies which optimise resources and improve environmental performance.
Our initiatives:

We should make our existing buildings more energy and resource efficient, as they form the bulk of our built environment.

To further distinguish Singapore as a City in a Garden, new areas such as skyrise greenery, and measures to better document and protect existing biodiversity are being studied too.

Resource efficiency (i.e. energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste minimisation and recycling) will be actively promoted among industry and businesses.

Efforts to encourage greater use of public transport contribute to sustainable development since public transport not only minimises land requirements but is more energy efficient than other transport modes.

Give your Feedback
  • What else can the Government do to ensure Singapore continues to be a lively and liveable city?
  • What can ordinary Singaporeans do to support a sustainable Singapore?

Links to media reports on the wildsingapore news blog

Wanted: Public's ideas for a greener Singapore
Feedback from the ground to shape 10-year programme
Tania Tan, Straits Times 29 Jul 08;

Sustainable if costs don’t tip the scales
Today Online 29 Jul 08;

Jul 27, 2008

Another first record for Cyrene Reef?

Chee Kong has shared the identity of this cowrie on his flickr. It is Blasicrura teres, a possible new record for Singapore! He also added a link to an article on the taxonomic status of this species on the man and mollusc website. From the site, it appears identifying this cowrie is a really 'complex' issue :-)

The cowrie was found by Chay Hoon during our recent trip to Cyrene Reef. Here's her photo of it on her flickr.Here's photos of the shell, the upper side
Side viewUnderside, with the very handsome animal retracted.Wow! This is exciting!

Update (28 Jul): Thanks to comments from "Collector" on this blog, ChimCK has posted an amendment to this identification on his flickr

"Previously suspected to be Blasicrura teres and hence another possible new record in Singapore.

Further reading of literature and comments from knowledgeable collectors suggest that this specimen is more likely to be Erronea walkeri walkeri.

This species has been recorded in Singapore.

Some species of Erronea have similarly looking soft parts (e.g., mantle, foot and papillae)".
Ah well, I'm just glad there are special animals on Cyrene, even if they are not first records!

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the issue. We sure learn a lot when we discuss with one another!

Jul 25, 2008

Massive dredging off Cyrene Reef begins

from PORT MARINE NOTICE NO. 139 of 2008 dated 23 Jul 2008

With effect from 30 Jul 08 to 30 Nov 08, at Selat Pandan, Sinki Fairway and West Keppel Fairway, 24 hours daily, including Sundays and Public Holidays.Dredging works will be carried out by the grab dredger “Pandora” within the sectors as indicated in the chartlet. The grab dredger will be held in position by a 4-point anchor mooring system within the working area. The anchors will be marked by marker buoys. The safety working zone is a circular area of 200-metre radius centred at the dredger. A safety boat will be deployed in the immediate vicinity of the working area to warn other craft of the project work.

Further enquiries relating to the project can be directed to Mr P Bogers, the project manager, at Tel No: 9139 6094 or email bog@vanoord.comwildfilms note: besides this dredging work, the massive reclamation project at Pasir Panjang Port is also near Cyrene Reef.