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Mangrove = cool = new activity

December 8, 2010

Singapore has mangroves. You guys know that right?

Seriously, there are are Singaporeans who I’ve met who don’t know that. Please don’t be one of them, I’m telling you about it now. After Oceans Day, the breakout sessions with the fantabulous scientists, and attending the same talk by the same scientist 3 times, I’m totally convinced that we need to do something. And since I was there, I’ll start by saying that I’m inspired and I want to start doing something.

Mangroves have excellent desalination properties, they’ve got a unique range of biodiversity surrounding them, solve the problem of soil erosion, they help to lower the energy of waves before they hit the shore, and when you think about their value in terms of carbon sequestration(go wiki it, a very cool but long concept), its really value-for-a-dollar when it comes to planting mangroves. There are mangrove plantations at Sungei Buloh, Pasir Ris and the East Coast. They’re really cool to study during geography lessons too.

But there’s one little problem, there’s a whole load of rubbish surrounding these areas. And from what the many repeat talks by Brian Murray with exactly the same slides and content have told me(its still cool every time), I’ve realised the best approach for mangrove conservation is a community-based one. Because we can’t expect people to keep cleaning up after us, the reserves aren’t hawker centres(you guys should clear your stuff at the hawker center of you can though). So the next time I get time off from school and I’m planning to go to the mall, I won’t. I’ll get my crocs on and go clean up the swamps. The only way to plant more of them is to clean up whatever is remaining then start planting little mangroves. Think of it as environmentally friendly messy brown paintball.

So if you guys are looking for a cheap, alternative, fun way to get messy and do a little good, contact the Wetland Reseerves and see if they’ve got a place for you to do some cleaning and planting. We live in an urban Singapore that has retained a fair amount of natural areas and it’ll be cool to experience both sides. I’ll join you guys when I get back.

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