Sunday, May 31, 2009

Recent upgrading has made Labrador Park such a beautiful place

Recent upgrading has made Labrador Park such a beautiful place
Before, Labrador Park was pretty backward, but will all the newly upgraded facilities, plus the upcoming completion of the Labrador Park MRT station, it had become a popular place.

Says STOMPer Henry, who'll like to share this lovely picture of the Park:

"Recently, I went to Labrador Park and noticed it had great changes compared to when I first visited it years ago.

"Many facilities had been built. At that time there was, a great difference between the East Coast Park and Labrador Park. Labrador Park used to be quite backward.

"With the future completion of the Labrador MRT, making access easier.

"Greater and more interesting developments will be made around it.

"Will it be a rival towards the East Coast Park one of these days?"

I for one hope that Labrador Park never becomes another East Coast Park.

Henry here might not realise that Labrador Park is a very important place; it is classified as a nature reserve, and contains a number of coastal habitats that are heavily threatened by development.

(Photos by Ria)
Such as extensive seagrass meadows.

One of the last mainland reefs found in Singapore.

Coastal forests.

Not to mention mangroves at Berlayar Creek, on the other end of Labrador Park.

Unfortunately, the shores of Labrador are under a lot of pressure.

There's plenty of reclamation and construction work going on just next to Labrador Park, due to expansion of the port at Pasir Panjang.

Close to where this construction work is taking place, there's some dumping of trash at Labrador. This photo was taken in December 2007, but since then, the situation hasn't improved much.

There's also chunks of concrete and wood on the shore, probably originating from the seacil project done by Singapore Polytechnic. As far as I know, some of these pieces are still sitting there and haven't been removed at all.

Labrador Park is popular with anglers and fishermen, and a lot of fishing, both legal and illegal, takes place in the waters around Labrador. Poaching of corals and marine fishes is also known to occur.

Many of the nets are discarded, and end up trapping and killing creatures like this horseshoe crab.

Over at Berlayar Creek, more debris is deposited in the form of golf balls, possibly from the nearby Keppel Club. One can only speculate how the marine life is affected. Here's a sea anemone that's surrounded by lost golf balls.

Not to mention the usual litter left behind by irresponsible park users.

Yet despite all these threats, the marine life at Labrador Park continues to survive.

Such as these hard corals.

Many marine creatures make their home amongst the corals, seagrass and seaweeds. Click on the thumbnails to take a closer look at some of the species previously encountered at Labrador Park.

With easier access, more people will be able to visit the park and make use of its facilities. However, how many of them will be aware of the ecological value and significance of Labrador Park? How many of them will be sensitive towards this area of great natural and historical heritage, and be responsible users of the park? I dread to imagine swarms of people traipsing all over Labrador Park, carelessly trampling all over the coral and seagrass, irresponsibly picking up crabs and marine snails, and leaving litter all over the place.

The reclaimed beaches of East Coast Park do have some marine life, but they are hardly comparable to the natural shores of Labrador Park. Similarly, the planted vegetation at East Coast Park is a poor alternative to the coastal forest at Labrador. In my personal opinion, Labrador already far exceeds East Coast Park in terms of beauty and natural diversity, and the day it becomes just another East Coast Park would be a day of great tragedy and loss.

Ria recently visited Labrador, and has a collection of links on Labrador's natural beauty as well as the various threats facing Labrador Park over at the Wild Shores of Singapore blog.

Mouse found at Vivocity's Giant. Where's the standard of hygiene?

Mouse found at Vivocity's Giant. Where's the standard of hygiene?
STOMPer Megumi finds it really unacceptable to find a mouse under the fridge of Vivocity's Giant Hypermarket, and wonders what happened to the standard of hygiene.

In an email to STOMP on May 31, this STOMPer says:

"I was at Vivocity's Giant Hypermarket yesterday near the frozen goods section when I heard a commotion.

"I moved forward and was shocked to see a mouse under the fridge!

"A few others were there too and we quickly informed the staff about this.

"It's really unacceptable having a mouse running around the supermarket like this.

"Seems like the hygiene level is questionable at this outlet.

"Hope the hypermarket's relevant authorities have done something and investigated this."

Related posts: Pest control efforts intensified to curb Woodlands Circle rat problem, says TC (18th May 2009)
Rats run wild in Woodlands Circle! (17th May 2009)
Rat plays peek-a-boo at East Point Banquet food court (11th March 2009)
Dead rat found lying on Maxwell Market performers' stage (9th March 2009)
Shocking to find rat at Changi Airport's T3! (8th March 2009)

Waves seriously eroding our northern shoreline at Kranji Reservoir

Waves seriously eroding our northern shoreline at Kranji Reservoir
If nothing is done to break the waves hitting the beach at Kranji Reservoir, Singapore's northern coastline will recede even further, says STOMPer Beach Lover.

In his email:

"These pictures were taken at the beach at Kranji Reservoir.

"This beautiful beach which abounds with mangrove trees faces the Straits of Johor.

"As the waves keep pounding on the shore the soil has been eroded and now some of the tree roots are exposed (photo 1).

"If PUB does nothing about the situation the erosion of the coast will continue unabated.

"In the second picture you can see a tree being toppled as its roots have nothing to anchor on.

"I hope something is done fast before our Northern coast recedes away from the straits."

Waves seriously eroding our northern shoreline at Kranji Reservoir

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good job NParks for building Jurong Central Park!

Good job NParks for building Jurong Central Park!
STOMPer Nature sings praises to NParks for doing a good job in opening the Jurong Central Park, for the residents of Jurong and Boon Lay.

In the STOMPers' email:

"NParks has done a good job in opening the Jurong Central Park (JCP) for the benefit of the residents in Jurong and Boon Lay. This park is popular with locals and foreign workers who gather here on weekends for a picnic. At one end of the park is the Jurong SAFRA whose restaurants are very crowded on Sundays.

"Beside the JCP runs the Sungei Lanchar which is now badly polluted with dead leaves, plastic bags and polystyrene boxes. I hope NEA will clean up the river and make our environment more pleasant .

"Many adults and kids enjoy flying their kites in the JCP in the evening.

"The Jurong Park Connector connects JCP to the Chinese Garden and along this connector you can see many fruit trees including the jackfruit."

Good job NParks for building Jurong Central Park!
Good job NParks for building Jurong Central Park!
Good job NParks for building Jurong Central Park!

Sharp leaves are danger to residents and passersby

Sharp leaves are danger to residents and passersby
STOMPer Big Eyes thinks that sharp leaves of this plant pose a danger to the residents and passersby of Bukit Batok.

Says this STOMPer:

"This picture was taken at a walkway near Block 288D at Bukit Batok Street 25.

"The tree planted by the Town Council has very sharp leaves and they are a danger to residents and passersby.

"If you are rushing from this block to the nearby bus stop in the morning, you run the risk of being blinded by the sharp leaves.

"I hope the Town Council will remove this tree and plant a tree that is less dangerous."

Related posts: 'Dangerous' plants removed from polyclinic grounds (14th April 2009)
Dangerous plants at polyclinic, says STOMPer (2nd April 2009)
Be careful the next time you're at Clarke Quay (12th March 2009)
Why plant chilli in area accessible by kids? (11th March 2009)
Dead leaves dangling from palm tree can crack your skull! (28th January 2009)

These trees with exposed roots may collapse

These trees with exposed roots may collapse
STOMPer Private Eye spotted these trees with exposed roots at the neighbourhood park at the junction of Bukit Batok Central and Bukit Batok Street 21 and says they could collapse one day, if there is a landslide.

The ominous prediction is due to the fact the roots are exposed due to serious soil erosion and if nothing is done, the trees may collapse.

"The slope of the hill faces the Tong Tien Kung temple.

"Perhaps NParks can look into how to preserve the trees before there is a landslide on this exposed hillside," says the STOMPer.

These trees with exposed roots may collapse

Marine life destroyed by massive pollution at Kranji Reservoir

Marine life destroyed by massive pollution at Kranji Reservoir
The fishes and crustacean that used to thrive at the Kranji Reservoir Park are now struggling to survive under extremely polluted conditions, says STOMPer Beachcomber.

While at the reservoir recently, Beachcomber saw the beach littered with all sorts of rubbish from polystyrene boxes to marine debris.

In an email, STOMPer Beachcomber says:

"These pictures were taken at the beach at Kranji Reservoir Park which is under the jurisdiction of the PUB.

"When the tide had receded, the beach was strewn with polystyrene boxes, canvas cloth, plastic bags and marine debris.

"Plastic bags and old clothes were left hanging on the mangrove trees when the tide went down.

"The serious pollution of the beach is getting from bad to worse.

"The sea here abounds with crabs, horseshoe crabs, prawns, fish but now the marine population has been decimated by the pollution."

Marine life destroyed by massive pollution at Kranji Reservoir
Marine life destroyed by massive pollution at Kranji Reservoir

Related posts: Pollution makes Sembawang beach unsuitable for swimming (26th April 2009)
Look at this filthy Admiralty Road beach! (4th March 2009)

Okay, I won't go so far as to say that the marine life is being destroyed and decimated by all the marine trash. All that pollution definitely isn't good for marine organisms, but I'm sure that life still manages to survive even in such challenging conditions. All the more reason for us to be even more active in cleaning up the shores.

One comment that is often posted in response to posts like these is that the trash drifts over from Malaysia, and hence there is nothing we can do about it. I vehemently disagree with such a statement.

While it is true that some proportion of the litter washed up on our shores originates elsewhere, it is all too apparent that we ourselves are also responsible for creating this mess. A lot of irresponsible littering and dumping goes on in our coastal areas, and it doesn't take a lot of searching to find instances of people leaving their trash on the ground, often a few metres away from a dustbin.

For example, I seriously doubt that the trash in the following pictures had drifted over from Malaysia.




Personally, where it comes to marine litter, I'm much more concerned about nets and fishing lines, which often entangle and kill marine life. I've already shared several photos of various marine creatures tangled up in a previous post, but I'd like to also highlight a recent incident involving Siva and 300 mangrove horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) rescued from an abandoned driftnet in the Mandai mangroves.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!

So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!
STOMPer Marco Polo wants to share these pictures he took at Kranji Reservoir Park with fellow STOMPers.

In an email to STOMP today (May 28), the STOMPer says:

"These pictures were taken at Kranji Reservoir Park.

"When the tide receded, many marine creatures were left on the beach, including this horseshoe crab. This can be seen in the main picture.

"This crab is a scavenger and fees mainly on bivalves. The tail is used to right itself up when overturned. Although it is harmless, it can move fast when pursued by other predators.

"The crab also feeds on worms and dead animals. Sea water is full of bacteria and the horseshoe crab is threatened with infection. It has no antibodies to fight infection. However, the horseshoe crab does contain a number of compounds that will bind to and inactivate bacteria, fungi and viruses. The horseshoe crab uses endotoxin as a signal for wound occurrence and as an effective defence against infection.

"Some clams were left on the beach when the tide receded. You can see a swarm of blow flies feeding on the fleshy clams.

"The green coloured fruits of the mangrove tree were left near the base of the trunk when the tide went down. The fruit is crowned by the persistent sepals. The tree is about 20m tall and the flowers have white petals.

"In another picture, you can also see a man using a cage to catch crabs at the beach which faces the Johor Straits.

"Some avid anglers cycle here on the weekends to enjoy a day of fishing and picnicking. They bring large nets to catch the bigger fish."

So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!
So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!
So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!
So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!
So many things to see at Kranji Reservoir Park!