Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dugong Ambassadors and Naked Hermit Crabs at Chek Jawa May Day outreach

Today was a fabulous gathering of folks from the Naked Hermit Crabs, TeamSeagrass and more at Joseph Lai's amazing Dugong Ambassadors at Chek Jawa! This May Day outreach is also to celebrate International Year of the Reef. Here are some of the volunteers on the way to Ubin, checking out Siti's spiffy new educational materials fresh out from International Seagrass-Watch.The event involves the homeschool families, a delightful bunch of people we met earlier at Joseph Lai's Changi seashore walk and November's seashore blogging workshop. Here is the ever gentlemanly Andy making sure everyone gets on the jetty safely. It is also sponsored by Intel and their volunteers also turned up for the event.

The event started off with a very quick tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk. The Naked Hermit Crabs were among those who brought everyone around.Andy shared about the critters in the mangroves.November had a very enthusiastic and large group of families.While Marcus enthralls with stories of civet cat poo ... in white circle.

Unfortunately, I didn't see Ivan or Haliah at the tour, must have missed them in the loops of the boardwalk.

Of course, what is the event without dugongs!Where do these come from? Well, as I explained to those who asked, Australia has the largest number of dugongs and there are also dugongs in ... (at this point I would usually get cuffed on the head). These fibreglass dugongs come from Ubin Lagoon Resort, now renamed to Kampong Ubin.

Shortly, we gathered for an inspiring launch by Joseph Lai.And immediately went on to the three simultaneous events!

First, there were designated Dugong Ambassadors who would set up at stations throughout Chek Jawa to explain to visitors about dugongs.

Siti, November and young friend formed the Ambassadors who shared about seagrasses.Meanwhile, on the shores, there was a contingent of Intel staff and homeschool families out for Beach Cleanup, with Andy lending a hand at it.Despite the hot humid weather they combed through the back mangroves and hauled up all the trash they found there.MEANWHILE, back at House No. 1 the homeschool families were busy with the mural!As well as expressing themselves on paper.Here's some of their amazing masterpieces...And all too soon, we had a group photo and it was time to go home.What a fabulous opportunity to share about Chek Jawa and dugongs!

Thank you to all Naked Hermit Crabs who came for the event: Andy, November, Marcus, Ivan and Haliah.

More about the event on the wildfilms blog.

If you'd like to learn more about seagrasses and our shores, come for these upcoming talks!

3 May (Sat): Secret Shores of Singapore by Ria Tan
2pm at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

6 May (Tue): Seagrasses are not just for dugongs by Siti Maryam
11am at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

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