Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa - an introduction

Im almost embarrassed to say this.

Despite being a girl guide for 4 years in secondary school and a girl scout for 3 years in JC and post-JC.. I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO PULAU UBIN UNTILL THE 28TH OF MAY 2009.

This isnt a sight you often see in Singapore. Well, here we are, 28th May '09, my first visit to Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin. and i promise it wouldnt be the last, im in love with this place (:

Okay firstly, some bit of background info on Chek Jawa. Chek Jawa is located at the south-eastern tip of Pulau Ubin, it is one of the rare NATURAL Rocky shore (with sandy shores as well) in SG.

Other rocky shores can be found at Labrador Park (which is the ONLY un-reclaimed, untouched and natural stretch of beach in the southern area of SG) and on the other offshore southern islands.

The area hosts several ecosystems:

#1 Mangroves - plants and organisms adapted to the highly salinzed ('salted' due to backwash from the sea) environment

some methods of adaptation is to have Prop roots - to be able to take in more oxygen

and also breathing roots - which are the things you see sticking out of the mud.

next time if you happen to be around mangrove habitats, also notice the waxy leaves surfaces - this prevents water loss.

#2 Seagrass habitats - they are different from seaWEED, seagrass has roots, they dont just drift around.

(Ignore the 2 crazy people in the foreground, and look at the seagrass at the background)

#3 Intertidal habitats - these areas are exposed during low tide and covered with water during high tide, making it a really dynamic area to live in.

imagine this, you live under water for 6 hours and above water for the next 6 hrs and so on.

i think i'll go mad.

John told me that the Norwegians commit suicide because of the different amount of sunlight they receive in the different seasons, which thus alter their environments and sense of time. and many of them cant tahan the changes. but this is probably nothing compared to the rates of changes and extent of changes in the intertidal habitats. okay i think im going off tangent. HAHAHAHA

okay back to the super long intro.

Chek Jawa was slated for reclamation in the late 1990s/early 2000s. However, due to a group of paasionate conservationists petitioned against the reclamation plan, which culminated in the video Remember Chek Jawa (

and the government shifted the reclamation project to Pulau Tekong (good for biodiversity, not so good for army boys).

Chek Jawa, then, got a new face! broadwalks were built to allow visitors easier access to the different habitats mentioned above

you can see the habitats right below your feet!

Im not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing tho.

its the same environmental debate that takes place all the time - make the place accessible for education and creation of environmental awareness, yet, when this happens the environment is disturbed and at times destroyed. for example:

our favourite constructor Phua Chu Kang obviously paid Chek Jawa a visit and left something behind.
I HATE RUBBISH (which arent in the bin).


anyways my point is, why go on an educational trip and litter?
okay maybe the rubbish drifted over from somewhere else. then, my point is, WHY LITTER?!

okay let me go get my marbles back.


<3 Serene Special Thanks: -Janette Goh for organizing this super trip -Karin, Willis, Ashton and Kynneth for providing great company.

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