Dec 21, 2012

Animals help pollinate and disperse seagrasses

Two recent studies reveal the role of marine creatures in pollinating seagrass flowers and dispersing their seeds!
Male turtlegrass flower with invertebrate.
Photo from article by  Brigit van Tussenbroek
on the World Seagrass Association blog
Tiny worms and crustacea visit the flowers of Thalassia testudinum while fish, terrapins, and birds may help disperse seeds of Zostera marina. Does the same kind of thing happen on our seagrass meadows? So much more to learn and discover!

Dec 16, 2012

Cyrene Reef (15 Dec 2012)

A small team monitored the seagrass meadows on Cyrene during a brief break in the wet weather, just before sunset.
We quickly set up for the monitoring after a safe arrival. How are the seagrasses doing on Cyrene?

Nov 15, 2012

Labrador (14 Nov 2012)

My first time seeing the fruits of Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis)!
The highlight of our monitoring trip to Labrador to check up on seagrasses there.

Nov 14, 2012

Pulau Semakau (13 Nov 2012)

The Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) are blooming today! With sprinkles of tiny male flowers floating on the water, often mistaken for styrofoam bits.
A small team had a great cool day monitoring the seagrass meadows of Pulau Semakau!

Nov 8, 2012

2013 TeamSeagrass dates now open for sign up!

Ready for more seagrassy adventures? We're heading into Year Six of seagrass monitoring!
Looking forward to MORE monitoring fun at Pulau Semakau, Chek Jawa and Cyrene Reef.

Oct 30, 2012

Chek Jawa (28 Oct 12)

The Team is back on Chek Jawa to monitor the amazing seagrass meadows there!
They enjoyed a glorious evening at this special shore!

Aug 31, 2012

Siti shares about seagrasses at Green Drinks

Last night, Siti shared about our awesome seagrasses!
She spoke at Green Drinks, a monthly gathering organised by the tireless Olivia Choong.

Aug 26, 2012

30 Aug (Thu): Siti to speak on seagrasses at Green Drinks

Seagrass is more than just green stuff in the sea!
Living shores of Changi
Seagrasses at Changi Beach!
Learn about the vital role seagrasses play in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems, the changing face of seagrass landscapes in Singapore and it’s potential for combating climate change.

Aug 5, 2012

Cyrene Reef (5 Aug 2012)

TeamSeagrass celebrates National Day early on Cyrene Reef!
What better way to do so than on this amazing reef with vast seagrass meadows studded with lots of big Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus)!

Jul 20, 2012

Sentosa (20 Jul 2012)

Well before dawn, a small team headed out to find out how the seagrass meadows at Sentosa's natural shores are doing.
How nice to have Rae of Rasa Sentosa and Shao Wei of Sentosa Leisure Group help out with TeamSeagrass monitoring today. I did this alone in Oct 2011.

Jul 6, 2012

Labrador (6 Jul 2012)

Siti and I monitor the seagrasses at Labrador early this morning.
Labrador is one of the last few shores on the mainland with good growths of seagrasses, and it has been affected by the massive reclamation for the new Pasir Panjang container terminal (seen on the horizon in this photo).

Jun 25, 2012

Singapore's dugongs featured in the Seagrass-Watch magazine!

Singapore has dugongs! There are signs of them on many of our seagrass meadows, from Chek Jawa to Cyrene Reef and more!
Wei Ling is looking at a dugong feeding trail at Chek Jawa,
seen during TeamSeagrass' first monitoring session.
Recent signs of dugongs in Singapore since 2007 to just a few months ago are featured in the mammoth issue of the Seagrass-Watch magazine a double cover, flipped edition, Issue 45 + 46 June 2012 which features Dugongs and Manatees!

Jun 20, 2012

2 Jul (Mon): FREE Seagrass Workshop by Siti

Want to get a more indepth understanding of our seagrasses and seagrass meadows?
TeamSeagrass at Semakau's vast seagrass meadows
TeamSeagrass working in the vast meadows of Pulau Semakau.
Come for Siti's workshop to learn more about our seagrasses, how to identify them, the important role of seagrasses in the marine environment and how you can make a difference for them! Places are limited, sign up now!

Jun 16, 2012

Clams and clean seagrass meadows

Dead stuff that settle on the sea bottom produce sulphides as they decompose which can become toxic to seagrasses in high concentrations. But in most seagrass meadows throughout the world, they don’t – and for decades scientists have wondered why.
Tiny Window pane clams (Family Placunidae)
Tiny Window pane clams found on our Northern seagrass meadows.
This study discovered the role of tiny clams in helping to keep seagrass meadows healthy.

Jun 15, 2012

TeamSeagrass featured in new edition of Semakau Book

TeamSeagrass is featured in second edition of the Habitats In Harmony which was launched last week.

As well as lots of photos and stories about the magnificent seagrass meadows on Pulau Semakau which stretches for kilometers and is home to all kinds of plants and animals.

Seagrasses store carbon better than trees

Seagrasses do a much better job of storing carbon than trees! Unlike forests that hold carbon for about 60 years then release it again, seagrass ecosystems have been capturing and storing carbon since the last ice age.
Seagrass surprises
A dugong feeding trail on Chek Jawa leaves a 'smiley face'
with some of the many seagrass creatures found here.
In a study of 946 seagrass meadows around the world, an international team of researchers estimated that seagrass captures 27.4 million tonnes of carbon each year.

Jun 10, 2012

Pulau Semakau (10 Jun 2012)

It's a bright blue sky day and a small team is out to monitor seagrasses at Pulau Semakau!
It was good to see nice long Tape seagrasses in the meadows, and everyone had great sightings after the work was done.

May 28, 2012

TeamSeagrass at the Festival of Biodiversity (26-27 May 2012)

The Team was busy at the Marine Exhibition during the Festival of Biodiversity last weekend.
We are fortunate to have Sankar to share about our seagrasses and the work of TeamSeagrass with the President, who graced the event.

May 23, 2012

Labrador (23 May 2012)

Finally, I got a chance to monitor the seagrasses at Labrador shore.
Labrador is one of the last few shores on the mainland with good growths of seagrasses, and it has been affected by the massive reclamation for the new Pasir Panjang container terminal (seen on the horizon in this photo).

May 13, 2012

Chek Jawa (13 May 2012)

Despite the wet start, a large team of enthusiastic volunteers gather to monitor seagrasses at Chek Jawa!
Today is a special trip because Len and Rudi of international SeagrassWatch are with us! We also saw more signs of dugongs!

May 9, 2012

Tuas (9 May 2012)

The morning started off with a bit a drizzle and I was still wondering if the monitoring could still continue. It was then that my brave volunteers gave me a thumbs up and off we go on our monitoring journey. Great Job Guys!
The midnight rain caused the rocks to be very very wet and slippery and we took some time to get down to the shore but the good thing was it was a nice cool morning. All the members were new today so I had to give a short briefing before the start of it.

May 4, 2012

Seagrassy stories on the World Seagrass Association blog in May

Seagrasses will be featured on the World Seagrass Association blog that Siti is managing, in celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May. Drop by the blog to check up on the latest stories!
Photo by Michael J. Durako
In the first of these stories, Michael J. Durako shares about seagrass monitoring "Down Under". This included a helicopter seagrass survey! This method is used because of "the high tidal range (4 m), turbid water and presence of saltwater crocodiles". The method was found to be quite efficient and he shares "We were able to sample 126 sites in about 2 hours and never got our feet wet!".

Sigh. Back on Planet Singapore, crocodile-less and with plenty of low tides, we're resigned to wet booties and a long trudge. But this means we get to see more marine life close up! Looking forward to our upcoming trip in May after a short break in April.

Apr 26, 2012

Thalassia makes three at Sentosa, Tanjung Rimau

"I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of lovely Thalassia leaves;
There amongst the Enhalus plants, 
Bopping their leaves in sprightly dance."
For those of you wondering about the "poem", it is shamelessly borrowed and modified from Daffodils, which was written by William Wordsworth. Poetic injustice aside, it was what came to mind this morning when I was walking along the shore at Tg. Rimau on Sentosa and I found Thalassia hemprichii growing in between patches of Enhalus acoroides

Only two species - Halophila ovalis and E. acoroides - have been recorded at Tg. Rimau prior to this, and this surprising Thalassia find brings the species total to three! :) It's really awesome how our shores continue to surprise us. Happy Thursday everyone!

Apr 25, 2012

Berlayar Creek (25 Apr 12)

Close to the heart of the city, there are seagrasses! There are good patches of Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) just off the newly built boardwalk at Berlayar Creek!
 At the request of NParks, TeamSeagrass is including this shore in our regular seagrass monitoring.

Apr 16, 2012

Dugong feeding trails at Cyrene!

Siti saw dugong feeding trails at Cyrene Reef! Dugongs are also called sea cows because they only eat seagrasses.
We often see dugong feeding trails on Chek Jawa, even on Changi. But this is our first sighting of them on Cyrene!

Mar 27, 2012

Tuas (27 Mar 2012)

The Merck volunteers are back out on the Tuas shore to monitor the seagrasses here! This wing of TeamSeagrass is led by Sheryl, who has been keeping this important work going for many years. Hurray!
The seagrasses are doing fine and we also saw some interesting marine life even though the tide wasn't very low.

Mar 11, 2012

Cyrene Reef (11 Mar 2012)

Our first morning tide trip for 2012 is to Cyrene Reef! In the first glimmers of dawn, a large team start the slow transfer from the big boats to this awesome submerged reef that lies in the middle of the industrial triangle!
In addition to a team for seagrass monitoring, more TeamSeagrass volunteers have stepped up to help Siti with her seagrass experiment on Cyrene.

Feb 19, 2012

Pulau Semakau (19 Feb 2012)

A surprise even before we left the Pier! An entourage of specially dressed up folks gathered to perform right in front of us as we were waiting for the ferry.
An exciting start to a fruitful and enjoyable monitoring session at Pulau Semakau!

Feb 2, 2012

Seagrass meadows may be oldest and largest organisms on earth

A seagrass species found in the Mediterranean is possibly the oldest and largest organism, reaching up to (15 km) wide and may be more than 100,000 years old.
Posidonia oceanica by M. San Felix from
Wow! I wonder, how old are our seagrass meadows?!

Jan 8, 2012

Chek Jawa (8 Jan 2012)

It's our first monitoring trip for 2012! And what a wet start we had!
Despite the rainy weather, this team of enthusiastic volunteers soldiered on and got it done!