Dec 13, 2006

Indoor Orientation: 13 Jan 07 (Sat) 2-5pm and 19 Jan 07 (Fri) 7.30-10pm

To kick start Seagrass Watch and TeamSeagrass, we are planning Indoor Orientation followed by Field Orientation sessions in January.

Indoor Orientation
13 Jan 07 (Sat) 2pm-5pm
19 Jan 07 (Fri) 7.30pm –10pm

Field Orientation
20 Jan (Sat): Chek Jawa depart Changi Village jetty 1600hrs end 2000hrs
21 Jan (Sun): Pulau Sekudu depart Changi Village jetty 1730hrs end 2030hrs
More on how to get there on Watch Locations

Only those who have attended the Indoor Orientation will be allowed to attend the Field Orientation. This is for your safety. You will only need to attend one Indoor Session.

We hope to get ready for Real Watch sessions when the super low tides start in Mar 07!

Here's what happened at the last Indoor Orientation session for the Sentosa transect

Indoor Orientation Programme
13 Jan 07 (Sat)/19 Jan 07 (Fri)

2pm/7.30pm: We got seagrass meh? by Ria
Introduction to the shores we're going to monitor and other surprising things about your shores

2.15pm/7.45pm: Seagrass Science by Siti
Introduction to seagrasses, identification, recording techniques

3.15pm/8.45pm: Break

3.30pm/9pm: Seagrass Samba by everyone
Practice setting up, try out the monitoring methods and taking photos. Usually results in a quite a dance-about as we figure things out :-)

4.45pm/9.45pm: Seagrass Safety by Ria
Safety and logistics: getting there and back in one piece--both you and the seagrasses.

5pm/10pm: End

Venue: NParks Peirce Road Multi-Purpose Hall, Peirce Road Depot
Peirce Road off Holland Road
(near the place where they sell durians in the carpark)These is free parking at the depot, pls park in an orderly manner.

Getting there by public transport
1) From Orchard MRT Station, go to the bus stop at Orchard Boulevard
2) Buses to take: 77, 174, 106, 123, 7
3) Get off at the third bus stop AFTER the Gleneagles Hospital/Botanic Gardens bus stop
4) From the bus stop walk towards the traffic light and you will see the signboard at Peirce Road that says National Parks Board. The entrance to the Depot is about 200m down Peirce Road on your left.

Please BE PUNCTUAL so we can start on time and end on time. Punctuality is critical in all TeamSeagrass activities as they are tide dependent. And time and tide waits for no one :-)

Bring a note-book to take notes during the session.

Sign up for TeamSeagrass
(a) your full name
(b) your age
(c) your email address
(d) your contact number
(e) any previous experience in field work, outdoor nature activities, volunteering in nature work, with which groups? (it's OK if you don't have any)
(f) Which Indoor Orientation session will you attend?
(g) Which Field Orientation sessions will you attend?

to Ria at
(pls put "teamseagrass" in the subject line, this email gets a lot of spam)

Please read the FAQs on TeamSeagrass before emailing me questions.

New seagrass growing techniques

We should appreciate our seagrasses! Don't wait until they are wiped out!

University of Delaware 11 Dec 06
New eelgrass growing techniques would help bays
Article by Tracey Bryant
full article on wildsingapore wildnews

Extracts ...

Before disease decimated it years ago, eelgrass thrived around the globe in estuaries like Delaware's Inland Bays.

The sea-dwelling plant provides food and habitat for crabs, fish and waterfowl. It improves water quality by removing excess nutrients from the water and stabilizes the bay bottom as its long, ribbon-like leaves trap floating particles of sediment.

Environmental managers would like to get their hands on more eelgrass for bay restoration projects. But it's not as easy as going out and buying a bag of grass seed or a flat of plants at your local garden center. At least not yet.

“Eelgrass is a cold-water plant that was once widely distributed,” Gallagher said. “Then in the 1930s, there was a worldwide die-off of the plant due to wasting disease”.

This disease is thought to be caused by a slime mold that attacks the plant's leaves. The loss of the once-prolific eelgrass set off a chain reaction of serious impacts, including the starvation of large numbers of brant, a species of waterfowl that relies on the plant as a primary food source.

While eelgrass populations have rebounded in some locations over the years, restoration efforts have been essential to the plant's recovery elsewhere, particularly in areas that have undergone significant environmental degradation due to increased nutrient inputs, erosion and other stresses, Gallagher said.

However, the restoration process often is slow due to the scarcity of plant material. Currently, environmental managers must harvest seeds from eelgrass growing in the wild or dig up plants from healthy beds for transplant to new beds.

Currently, the UD research team is working on two methods for propagating eelgrass.

Dec 1, 2006

Seagrass-Watch Newsletter is out!

The Nov/Dec 2006 issue of the Seagrass-Watch Newsletter is in print and can be found on the Seagrass-Watch website.

Download the pdf to read the articles about TeamSeagrass and Chek Jawa and other seagrass news.

Here's some excepts about TeamSeagrass...and how TeamSeagrass got started...... and more seagrass adventures ahead!There's also an interesting article about seagrasses and sunburn in this issue.