Time and tide wait for no man – Mobile Geographics’ tidal heights help plan the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

I am in the midst of exam hell which means marking final assignments, running exams which means even more marking, then totalling, checks, evaluation, grading and submission. So its best to avoid everything else but this is typically impossible.

Amongst the demands which surface are simple queries like this, “when does the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup take place in Singapore?”

Annually this takes place around the world on the third Saturday in September so that should be easy – Saturday 21st September 2013.

But I must check the tides, as mangroves and some beaches can only be worked at a good low tide – this is safer and also more of the shore exposed, allowing us to eliminate more of the trash present.

If the tides are unsuitable, I need to change the date like we had to this year and let everyone know early.

Sep 2013 Tide calendar: Sembawang, Singapore

There are published 2013 tide tables which include hourly tide tables but I have not purchased those as yet. So for now, I looked at the trusty Mobile Geographics’ Sembawang tides for 2013.

The tidal heights for Saturday 21st September 2013 are: 5.57am – 0.62m, 12.38pm – 3.25m, 6.11pm – 0.48 m.

Beaches are exposed in the early morning, and most groups will begin their actual cleanup work at 8.00am and finish by 9.30am before moving trash out. It will be fine for the recessional beaches.

However, with spring tides rising quickly to about 2.5 metres by 10.30am, this time is better avoided for sites such as Pasir Ris 6, Chek Jawa and many mangrove sites as access might be cut off and/or conditions could become unsafe, especially with unfamiliar volunteers.

Mangrove crossing at Kranji-Buloh mangrove for returning groups in 2001.
We avoid this for inexperienced groups (i. e. everyone!)

Here instead, it would be a much safer to work in the afternoon the tide is receding, getting lower with time. So it looks likely I’ll shift mangrove and some non-recreational beach cleanups to the afternoon.

There is more to figure out, including how this will affect data submissions, but I’ll leave all that to the second quarter planning meetings. I’ll need to first recruit and train volunteer Site Captains in the first quarter and find a mangrove-savvy deputy Zone Captain for the mangrove-intensive North-West zone. It was a real struggle this year. and I’m still feeling the effects.

For now, though, its back to marking!

If you are interested to help recce sites, manage registration, help volunteer Organisers get started up and more, you will learn from the very experienced group of people in ICCS Otters – sign up at http://iccs-volunteer.rafflesmuseum.net.