Sunday, January 08, 2006

citizens on patrol

joined Elijah this morning to visit his river patrol group, Punggol South Riverwatch. he had told me about his weekend boat patrols along Sungei Serangoon and I decided to join him to see what it's like and to take a look at mangroves there.

despite the heavy rain this morning, I was surprised to see at least six other volunteers gathering in a precious Sunday morning! the boat shed was located underneath the bridge across S. Serangoon (Sengkang Avenue East) and the motor boat was moored alongside the pontoon jetty.

one of the members, Daisy Wee, was also a member of Waterways Watch (WWS). Being involved in ICCS in the past, we are always very thankful to WWS for helping during the Kallang cleanup; other volunteer boaters from Raffles Marina had helped us haul out heavy pieces of junk that we removed from the Kranji mangroves.
once there, the volunteers got to work cleaning up the rubbish flushed down the canals by the heavy rain and the embankment. I helped Elijah to fish out a tangled "jalal" net. luckily the net had not trapped many marine organisms.

too bad that the boat could not venture out due to the bad weather. in any case, there weren't many anglers or net fishermen out today. the patrol group was formed two years ago after a few drowning incidents in S. Serangoon. I've seen anglers and net casters wading out into deep waters to fish. nowadays, there are many more users of the water ways. Yesterday from the vantage point of the LRT, I spotted at least two motor boats towing wake-boarders in the river.

spotted a makeshift shrine on the opposite bank; even abandoned deities need a refuge. there were cattle egrets perched on the railings along the canal and night herons were roosting on the mangrove trees on the other side of S. Serangoon.


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