A wonderful celebration of our reefs!

Bright and early Saturday morning and the crowds started as soon as Reef Celebrations opened its doors. Here's Debby of the Hantu Bloggers sharing about Pulau Hantu with young visitors.

Jun shares about Singapore's first coral nursery with another young visitor.More young visitors at the TeamSeagrass booth!

In fact, young visitors were a big part of the people who came to Reef Celebrations!They made themselves at home at Kok Sheng's talk about "Life and Death on Chek Jawa".
But everyone of all ages enjoyed the exhibits, especially the Toddycats booth with the intriguing baby dugong.The talks were really well attended! It was really packed at Kok Sheng's talk.Sijie and Chee Kong shared about our special Knobbly sea stars on Cyrene in their talk about "Wishing on a Star".During the talks, the kids asked the best questions! Here is Jeff explaining to the question by a child "How do you breathe underwater?". Collin brought the dive gear displayed at Jun's booth so that Jeff could show how it was done. Jeff was giving a talk about "Are there coral reefs in Singapore?"
Debby gave an inspiring talk about our "Southern Haunt".
Shufen shared about our "Green, Mean, Photosynthesizing Machines", i.e., seagrasses.
We were very fortunate today to have YC to be our MC for the talks. He also brought his MP3 player to provide background music! Something we totally forgot about! Thanks YC.

With the large crowds of family groups, it was wonderful to have Vilma and friends of Cicada Tree Eco Place and the Raffles Institution people provide exciting programmes for the kids with the theme MAD for turtles (Make a Difference for turtles).

There were all kinds of games to help kids understand the threats to sea turtles and what we can do to make a difference.
There was a special boardgame about turtles.Computer game about turtles.Fishing game about turtles.
Story-telling about turtles by Vilma herself.Which was really captivating!And pledge cards for the kids to sign.Chay Hoon's pretty marine themed pebbles are big hit. Chai Joo, Vilma and Chee Kong hold some examples.

Our Celebration Guestbook is a puzzle mainly so that we can scan in everyone's comments later (which will happen after we get some sleep).
And Marcus was among the most hardworking of photographers today.
Ley Kun of the Naked Hermit Crabs manages the Celebration Guestbook, encouraging visitors to share their thoughts about our reefs.
The colouring station run by the Naked Hermit Crabs was a BIG hit with the kids.And the artists with their masterpieces are a hit with the photographers too!Even the volunteers HAVE to have a hand at these delightful drawings specially created for IYOR by Chay Hoon of the Naked Hermit Crabs!

At the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation booth, we learnt about their work. They are completing year fourteen of an ongoing expedition to map and monitor the world's coral reefs. To date, PCRF's research vessel is the only ship continually at sea studying coral reefs on a planetary basis.Kelly from the Underwater World Singapore explained their latest Young Marine Biologist Award launched as part of IYOR.

We were also very fortunate to have Abigayle today to tell us more about the work of the Blue Water Volunteers.

The highlight of IYOR is the Adopt a Star programme!Together with the Star Trackers (Sijie and Chee Kong), the Crabs ran the Adopt a Star booth. Here is November sharing about the special Knobbly sea stars of Cyrene.And Vyna with all the 100 stars of Cyrene that are up for adoption.And a pair of young adopters with their selected Star!At the end of the day, November is pleased to share that 25 out of the 100 stars have been adopted!

What a fabulous way to share about our reefs and celebrate the launch of International Year of the Reef in Singapore!

Of course lots and lots more people were involved in making the Celebrations possible. Many staying out of the photos but well into the work. Wei Ling of NParks the National Biodiversity Centre and her colleagues were always at hand to ensure all went smoothly. And many more volunteers who were everywhere except in the photos.

Thank you to everyone!

More blog entries about the day!

No comments: