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4 Ways to dive into marine conservation with your family

Beyond our lush urban greenery, Singapore is home to a vibrant mosaic of oceanic biodiversity, with over 12,000 species of marine organisms living in our waters. 

At the heart of this lively marine community, our native coral reefs, also known as “the Rainforests of the Sea”, emerge as magnificent marvels, over countless generations of corals and reef organisms. Within their intricate ecosystems, you can find over 120 species of reef fishes and about 200 species of sponges creating a rich and diverse underwater habitat. 

Through meticulous conservation, we can do our part in helping our reefs to persevere through threats, such as climate change and land reclamation, and support a thriving and harmonious ecosystem. 

In this month’s blog, join us as we delve into 4 activities that you can do in Singapore to instil awareness about the importance of marine conservation from an early age.

1. Making a difference with ‘Our Singapore Reefs’

Established in 2017, Our Singapore Reefs (OSR) has been an emerging leader in local marine conservation. Led by a quartet of avid divers – Sam, Tai Chong, Lynette, and Yvonne – OSR chiefly organises reef clean-ups, taking volunteer divers on expeditions to clean up marine litter lying on our seabeds. 

Despite the common practice of properly disposing of our waste, trash such as plastic containers and empty glass bottles are still often left behind on our beaches. Subsequently, during high tide, these remnants are swept into the ocean, causing pollution and disruption to coral ecosystems.

OSR’s goal is clear— every dive uncovers new litter, fueling their ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the importance of marine conservation, and serving as a reminder to all that maintaining cleanliness in and around our waters is our responsibility.

If you would like to join their cause but are not a diver yourself, OSR also co-hosts beach clean-up sessions with Georges, providing an opportunity for families and young ones to get involved. These sessions are often accompanied by expert sharing programmes, serving as an educational avenue for newcomers to learn about marine diversity, mangrove protection and more. 

By participating in OSR’s activities with your family, you will not only be contributing to the ongoing efforts of marine conservation but also cultivating knowledge and enthusiasm for marine conservation early. Head over to OSR’s Instagram to discover more about their activities. 

2. Educating from young with “Let’s Discover Our Seashores, Singapore!”

While sustainability topics have been weaved into the classrooms in recent years, it is equally important that parents continue cultivating these learnings and interests at home — and what better way to do so than with an interactive children’s picture book.

Titled “Let’s Discover Our Seashores, Singapore!”, the picture book authored by father-daughter duo Professor Emeritus Chou and Diana Chou is a visual and aural experience that invites parents and young readers to explore the world of marine creatures living on our shores. 

Featuring 25 unique sea creatures, the book incorporates visual illustrations and QR codes linking to animated videos online, where Professor Emeritus Chou, a marine biologist at the Tropical Marine Science Institute, explains in deeper detail the interesting traits and behaviours of these animals. 

For example, young readers may discover animals such as an eight-armed seastar extending its arms, with small, flexible tube-like structures to enhance its speed during incoming tides. Interesting as it may be, this newfound knowledge can enrich your child’s learning, making their next trip to the beach more engaging and rewarding. 

Through captivating visuals and tech integration, there are endless ways in which children can nurture their interest in marine life conservation. If you are keen to kickstart your child’s educational journey, you can do so by picking up a copy of “Let’s Discover Our Seashores, Singapore!” at any Popular, Kinokuniya and Times bookstore near you.

3. Exploring new coastal trails on Big Sisters’ Island

Beyond our mainland beaches, families can take their curiosities further with the upcoming opening of Big Sisters’ Island this year. With a host of exciting new activities lined up, you can now look forward to exploring a whole new side of Singapore, just a boat ride away.

The island features a 230-metre coastal forest trail, complete with a hilltop viewing deck that offers an unobstructed view of our cerulean seas. You will also find lush green canopy throughout your hikes, all of which were strategically placed to enhance coastal habitats for sea creatures in our waters.

Besides the sights of the native animals living on Big Sisters’ Island, the little ones can experience the sea within the confines of a lagoon tidal pool, designed to retain seawater during low tide. Kids and parents can even partake in snorkelling activities, spotting moon snails, sea cucumbers and even octopi during their swims.

By providing children with a unique and immersive experience, we can help instil a deeper appreciation for marine conservation. This initiative is further enhanced by the collaboration between the National Parks Board and Singtel, who will incorporate 5G technology across the island to boost monitoring and virtual education programmes as well. 

Discover more coastal activities and amenities on Big Sisters’ Island here.

4. Diving into coral reef and marine conservation with #VoyageToProsperity

This Chinese New Year, we would like to invite you to dive deeper with us, explore the vast coral reefs that are thriving within our waters, and join us in our conservation efforts.

Through our collaboration with Marshall Cavendish Education (MCE), we have co-created the Voyage To Prosperity Game together with 10-year-old Gabriel Chin. As part of our initiative, we will be donating $10,000 to the coral reef conservation and enhancement efforts by NParks’ Garden City Fund, and you and your little ones can join us to pledge your support for coral reef conservation efforts, simply by playing the game. Each gameplay will count as a pledge towards conserving our coral reefs.

Together with the NParks’ Garden City Fund, we are also illuminating the beauty of coral reefs, which serve as a pivotal foundation for a thriving marine ecosystem on our Geneco Red Packets. 

This is symbolised by the radiant flow of fishes in vivid hues of pink, blue and gold, as well as the blooming corals to represent their flourishing prosperity. Within each red packet, you will also discover the lesser-known facts about our coral reefs and how they are vital to our marine life.

For a chance to win a set of limited edition Geneco Red Packets and $28 eCapitaVoucher, you can also take part in our Facebook and Instagram giveaway contests simply by sharing with us one of the places where Singapore’s coral reefs can be found.

By nurturing an appreciation and sense of responsibility for our marine environment from a young age, we hope to inspire and empower the next generation of environmental stewards to build themselves a sustainable future.

Together let’s embark on a #VoyageToProsperity towards a sustainable nation for our next generation. 

And beyond.