2018 Recap: top 11 highlights of Guardians of the S.E.A.A.

Guardians of the S.E.A.A. GOTS 2018 recap highlights of the year turtle release strawless campaign

2018 has been one hectic but fruitful year for us at Guardians of the S.E.A.A.. We organised 14 conservation events, more school and community outreach events, a “No Straws – Save Marine Life” campaign, the release of two rescued sea turtles, and more.

Here’s a look back at our top 11 highlights of the year:

1. Release of rescued sea turtles

After two years of specialised care and rehabilitation, rescued sea turtles Louie and Hawke finally returned to the wild on 19 June 2018. Read more about the release of the sea turtles, with support and assistance from the National Parks Board.

2. “No Straws – Save Marine Life” campaign

Since 1 October 2018, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has stopped providing plastic straws at its five themed attractions (including Universal Studios Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium), as well as dining establishments such as celebrity chef restaurants and Malaysian Food Street. This resort-wide initiative was spearheaded by Guardians of the S.E.A.A.

This move to go strawless across RWS will eliminate more than three million straws a year, and help to reduce marine plastic pollution. Read more about the “No Straws – Save Marine Life” campaign

3. BYO Schools Programme: more than 32,600 plastic disposables saved

From June 2017, Guardians of the S.E.A.A. embarked on a year-long nationwide BYO (Bring Your Own) Schools Programme in partnership with Zerowaste SG.

Within a year, 20 schools have completed the programme, with more than 3,044 students awarded a certificate of achievement, and over 32,600 pieces of plastic disposables saved – surpassing our initial goal of 2,000 students and 20,000 plastic disposables.

Read about our BYO Schools Programme

4. Two beach cleanups, 610.5kg of trash cleared

Our first beach cleanup of the year on 28 July 2018 was also our biggest to date with 214 volunteers coming together to make a difference for our environment.

Together with our second beach cleanup on 29 September 2018, we cleared a total of 610.5kg of trash from Tanah Merah Beach Site 7. Read more about our beach cleanups.

5. Two reef cleanups, 193kg less trash in the ocean

A new record was set at our first reef cleanup of the year on 9 June 2018 – 155kg of trash, most of which were discarded glass bottles, was cleared from the waters around Pulau Hantu Kechil.

Guardians of the S.E.A.A. reef cleanup
At our second outing on 24 November 2018, we hauled up 38kg of trash. Read more about our reef cleanups.

6. First-ever mangrove cleanup, cleared 102kg of trash

At our first mangrove cleanup at Sungei Tampines, participants picked up 102kg of trash in slightly over an hour. Among the trash were 1,969 plastic straws, 473 food wrappers and plenty of others.

Read more about our mangrove cleanup.

7. Science in the S.E.A.A. – sharing sessions headlined by leading marine biologists

Four leading marine biologists and lecturers from James Cook University (JCU), four eye-opening sharing sessions on topics ranging from sharks and turtles to eDNA and sustainable aquaculture.

Colin Simpfendorfer
Prof Colin Simpfendorfer, international shark expert and Co-Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group was one of the speakers at Science in the S.E.A.A.

Read more about Science in the S.E.A.A.

8. Schools and community outreach

Guardians of the S.E.A.A. collaborated with schools, grassroots organisations and non-profit organisations to promote awareness of plastic pollution and marine conservation. These included activity booths and  talks at schools such as Fern Green Primary School, the Zero-Waste Roadshow at NUS, and community roadshows at Tampines Hub.

9. Conservation nights – inspirational sharing and interactive fun

At our themed conservation nights, JCU lecturers, S.E.A. Aquarium aquarists and guest speakers were invited to share on various topics of interest. Games and activities were also part of the line-up to make learning fun, especially for younger members.
Guardians of the S.E.A.A. A Coral-Full Ocean conservation event

Read more about Guardians of the S.E.A.A. conservation nights

10. Sharks Feed Special Tour

Over the Lunar New Year holiday on 16 and 17 February 2018, we organised a complimentary Sharks Feed Special Tour for our members. They went behind the scenes to learn more about sharks and even got to chat with an aquarist who takes care of sharks at the aquarium.

Read more about our Sharks Feed Special Tour.

11. Team member sharing sessions

In the last quarter of 2018, we organised two special sharing sessions for S.E.A. Aquarium team members to empower them with new and in-depth marine life knowledge. We invited Team SeaGrass and Dr Giana Gomes who shared on seagrass and eDNA respectively.

Our heartfelt thanks to all members and partners for your support. Guardians of the S.E.A.A. has many exciting events planned for 2019 and we look forward to you joining us in the coming year.

Here’s wishing you a happy 2019. Healthy ocean, healthy us!

If you wish to do your part for ocean conservation, join us as Guardians of the S.E.A.A..

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