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SUSS Outdoor Adventure x WILDSMarines World Environment Day: Understanding more about our mangroves

On 11 June 2023, participants from SUSS Outdoor Adventure (ODA) and WILDSMarines interest groups went to Mangrove Discovery Series in conjunction with World Environment Day. A group of 28 students from both Interest Groups embarked on an enriching morning of kayaking along the northern shores of Sembawang and explored the mangroves of Simpang.

Start of the Mangrove Discovery Series
Students being briefed by the instructor before launching off on the kayak

Arriving early in the morning, the participants began their day at PAssion WaVe @ Sembawang. They were greeted with a comprehensive safety briefing at the facility, ensuring everyone was well-informed about the necessary precautions. Additionally, they underwent a water confidence test along the shore to assess their comfort level before venturing out into the open sea.

Gaining confidence in water!
Students engaging in a water confidence test on the shore

Kayaking together out at sea
Students kayaking out at sea together as they head towards the mangrove

The participants paddled to a picturesque mudflat, where they were pleasantly surprised to encounter a diverse array of marine creatures. Among the fascinating species they discovered were vibrant sea anemones, horseshow crabs and baby flower crabs. Adding to the excitement, Lim Cheng Puay, a dedicated volunteer from WILDSMarines, eagerly enlightened the group with captivating facts about these marine creatures. He mentioned that “these are highly adaptable and resilient organisms which are capable of surviving under very challenging environmental conditions”.

Cheng Puay sharing about the flora and fauna found in mangroves

Sharing by Cheng Puay about the flora and fauna found in the mangroves

Cheng Puay also took the time to share his knowledge about the different mangrove species  such as Avicennia (api-api), Bruguiera, Rhizophora (bakau), and Sonneratia. The participants gained a profound understanding of the importance of mangroves, their uses and how they are vital for the survival of humanity from his sharing. For instance, mangroves can absorb two to four times more amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than mature tropical forests do.

Seaweed that was found on the mudflat
Seaweed that was found on the mudflat

From exploring the mudflat to listening attentively to Cheng Puay’s sharing, Wong Si Hui, Year 2 Social Work student, recounted, “It was a very interesting session where I got to learn more about the environment and the marine creatures that can be found in the ecosystem!”

Encountering light drizzles on their journey to the outlet, the participants’ plans to collect litter on the way back were hindered by unfavourable conditions. Despite that, they still had a fulfilling and educational morning where they learnt more about the environment while engaging in an active kayaking session.

A successful event_brightened

SUSS ODA IG and WILDSMarines members posing for a picture

Ignatius Tay, a Year 1 Business Analytics student, enthusiastically shared his positive experience, remarking, “The event was truly eye-opening and enjoyable. What made it even more fascinating was the fact that it took place during low tide, enabling us to observe and learn about captivating creatures such as the horseshoe and hermit crabs.

Nicia Goh, a Year 1 Early Childhood Education student, also reflected on the event, “This was my first time kayaking out in Singapore’s waters and I was so glad that it was with the members from ODA who have experience and were able to guide and support us throughout the journey. I have been on several mangrove walking tours but kayaking into the mangroves was a totally different and unique experience where we got to observe and discover the plants, mangroves and wildlife in super close proximity!” 

While kayaking past the mangrove forest, the deep sense of peace serves as a poignant reminder of the immense value of safeguarding these fragile ecosystems. Upon concluding the kayaking event, every participant emerged with a newfound reverence for the breathtaking beauty and intricacies of nature.

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