On 10th July 2023, the S.E.A. Aquarium Ocean Advocates volunteer arm conducted its first-ever combined beach and dive cleanup, in collaboration with local marine group Friends of Marine Park (FMP). Led by the Research & Conservation team and supported by the Dive Operations team, 12 RWS team members (TMs) were joined by 9 public volunteers to clean up Bendera Bay on St. John’s Island. Under the purview of FMP, Bendera Bay is a 3.9-hectare lagoon that is home to valuable habitats ranging from coral, sandy and rocky shores to mangroves and seagrass.
Our force of beach cleanup participants, divers and surface support crew undertook a comprehensive cleanup effort that morning; under a light drizzle and silty underwater conditions, the group collected 24 bags of marine debris weighing a total of 93kg. The debris largely consisted of plastic cups and bottles as well as styrofoam packets and boxes, perhaps washed in from offshore fish farms and nearby islands frequented by beach-goers and island hoppers.
This cleanup brings Ocean Advocate’s tally up to 309.5kg of trash collected this year, placing us well on-track to achieve the 400kg target set for 2023. We look forward to our next round of cleanups in September — our largest for the year — that will be held in conjunction with the annual International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) initiative.