Monday, June 21, 2010

Chek Jawa Northern Sandbar Check Out.....

Were out at Chek Jawa with TeamSeagrass on last Saturday. First time stepping onto Chek Jawa since the oil spill three weeks ago. So wonder how the marine life have been coping since the spill.

As we have enough volunteers for the monitoring, Ria, Andy and I split out to do a quick check out at the southern and northern sides of Chek Jawa.

I check out the northern sandbar starting near the mangroves. In some tide pools, there seem to be a layer of oil sheen with pale brown stuff on the water surface.

Other than these, the rest of the tide pools that I came across were free of this brown stuff.

Plenty of Acorn Worm casts on the sandbar.

In the tide pools near the mangroves, were lots and lots of these Bubble Shell Snails! I have seen them at this area before.

Did not come across any large patch of Button Snails. Only a couple of live ones were seen with most of the dead ones occupied by Hermit Crabs.

But I did come across large patches of Sand Dollars! Lots and Lots of them buried under a layer of sand to avoid the mid-morning heat!

At the same area with the Sand Dollars, I noticed a lot of these dead white shells! No idea what they are.

In about 20 Carpet Anemones that I checked upon, I only saw one that was bleaching.

Most of them were in their healthy green! Hope that they will stay like this!

Sea Cucumbers look okay!

Only came across one Common Sea Star.

Most of the Tube Anemones look like their usual selves. Did not see any dead one.

Came across two dead Sea Urchins though. However, their tests looked clean of oil.

Other lively creatures seen were Hermit Crabs, Window pane Shells, Sea Robin, Coastal Horseshoe Crab, Mantis Shrimp and a Baler Volute feeding a Noble Volute!

Of course, I did a quick check on the Seagrass outside the monitoring sites. I noticed that the ones (Top photo) on the upper shore are doing okay but the ones (Below) near the water edge were dying or bleaching.

I pulled some of the dying/bleaching ones out.....

And here you can see that the stem of the dying/bleaching ones were brown at the tip. And when I removed the Seagrass from the slate, the spot where the brown stems were, was stained with a bit of the brown stuff. Could the brown stuff be crude oil? Hmmmm.....

Overall, the northern sandbar looks kinda of okay.....not much difference from before the oil spill in term of creatures seen. But of course, we are still unsure of the long term effect of the oil spill has on the marine life. Thus it is important to do regular monitoring of the shore.


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