Oil slick spreads to Singapore’s northeastern coastline

SINGAPORE, May 29, 2010 (AFP) – An oil slick from a damaged tanker has spread from beaches on Singapore’s southeastern coastline to a marine nature reserve and other beaches, environment officials said Saturday. “Definitely, where we’re talking about Changi Beach and Chek Jawa, these areas have a high level of biodiversity,” said Louis Ng, executive director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).

Ng added that a 20-man team from ACRES had been at Changi Beach since 3:00 am Saturday morning (1700 GMT Friday) to rescue wildlife hit by the oil, which included “hermit crabs, the starfish, sea snails and clams.”

The group said they had rescued 81 oil-covered animals at a beach along the east coast of Singapore on Friday. Oil was found on the northeastern shore of Changi Beach and at Chek Jawa, a marine reserve on the southeast corner of Pulau Ubin, an island off the beach, a spokeswoman for the National Environment Agency (NEA) told AFP Saturday.

“The affected portion at Changi Beach is 700 metres (2,296 feet) long. Clean-up operations have begun. At Chek Jawa, some oil patches were sighted along a 150-metre stretch,” a press release by NEA dated May 28 stated.

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