Surbana Jurong’s Coastal Engineering business unit works hard every day to promote sustainable coastal developments. So when the time came to pick a worthwhile team activity, it seemed fit that they contributed to a cleaner coastline too.
One Saturday morning in March, the Coastal Engineering’s team members and their families gathered for a boatride to Pulau Ubin, an island off the northeast coast of Singapore, before heading off to Chek Jawa, an intertidal flat with a rich ecosystem that is located at its remote eastern tip. Unfortunately, the beautiful scenery was marred by the litter around them.
The group made up of over 30 volunteers started removing the waste from the beach and surrounding mangrove, counting plastic bags, bottles, styrofoam, PVC tubes and medical waste among the debris. It was back-breaking work but they filled many rubbish bags in the end.
On the upside, it was a valuable teaching moment for the children of the volunteers, who learned how the oceans are being increasingly choked by plastic waste – which threatens the existence of marine life such as sea turtles, fish, seabirds and coral; they may ingest the plastics or be injured by discarded fishing lines and flotsam.
Another high point was how everyone could enjoy the songs of robins and hornbills and the lapping of waves in the distance while they worked. The event not only allowed the Coastal Engineering team to help the environment but to see a greater purpose to their work at Surbana Jurong.
This event also reminded our Coastal Engineering team of the importance of their work; to ensure that projects under their supervision carries out all mitigation measures to protect the environment.