OPENING ADDRESS BY MR ANDREW TAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, AT THE CLEAN-UP ON KAYAK EVENT ON SATURDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2017, 9.30AM, AT SEMBAWANG PARK
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. Thank you for spending your Saturday morning to participate in the Clean-Up on Kayak event, held in conjunction with International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICC Day). This is the second year that we organizing this meaningful activity to keep our waters and beaches clean.
Clean-Up on Kayak Initiative
2. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, or MPA, started the ‘Clean-Up on Kayak’ initiative last year to cultivate a sense of awareness and responsibility for marine environment. We had about 60 volunteers in the inaugural event last year.
3. I understand that for this year, we have twice the number and we have 120 volunteers with us this morning. About 100 of you will be on the kayaks to collect marine debris and another 20 will be on land to sort the marine litter for data analysis. I am heartened to see your enthusiasm to do your part for our marine environment.
4. Globally there are increasing concerns with marine pollution as it not only harms the environment and marine life but also poses potential threats to navigational safety.
5. To keep our port waters clean and ensure that vessels are able to navigate safety, MPA deploys garbage collection and flotsam retrieval craft daily to collect garbage from ships anchored in our port and to retrieve flotsam and debris along the common channels, fairways and anchorages. Since February this year, MPA has increased the number of craft deployed daily from four to five with the twin results of covering a wider area and clearing these marine debris at a faster pace.
Protecting the environment is a shared responsibility
6. MPA also works with other government agencies such as NEA and NParks, and liaise with owners of waterfront properties to ensure that they also do their part to clear their own areas of flotsam and debris.
7. Keeping our waters clean is a shared responsibility. Together with MPA’s existing marine environmental protection and safety efforts, we hope this Clean-Up on Kayak event can help young Singaporeans understand the importance of protecting Singapore’s port waters and marine environment.
8. To encourage the community to do their part for marine sustainability, we plan to have the Clean-Up on Kayak activity on a quarterly instead of on annual basis. We hope to see more ground-up efforts from the community to take the lead to encourage fellow Singaporean to do their part for marine environment sustainability.
9. We are pleased to have secured Republic Polytechnic (RP) for them to take the lead to organise a session in March next year. The students from RP’s school in Outdoor and Adventure Learning will plan where, when and how they will conduct the Clean-Up on Kayak activity, as well as encourage the participation of their fellow students.
10. I am delighted by the enthusiasm of these youths and hope to see more and younger participants partaking in such worthwhile activities to shape the future for a better and sustainable environment. I hope that more schools, institutions and the public will come forward to partner us in this initiative. Such efforts will go a long way to help protect the marine environment and eco-system.
11. Thank you once again for joining us this morning. Do enjoy the experience, whether you are on kayaks to pick up marine litter or on Seletar Island to sort and record the trash. Have a pleasant day ahead.