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Marine Eco-toxicity Biomonitoring Programme

With urbanisation along Singapore’s coastline, marine fauna could be subjected to pollution, thus affecting the entire marine ecosystem. Hence, ecotoxicology - the study of the effects of pollution and other stressors on organisms in the natural environment – is important in monitoring the health of our marine biodiversity.

NParks has partnered the National Institute of Education on a programme to monitor the health of coastal areas in Singapore using physiological, behavioural and DNA tests on a marine species – the green mussels (Perna viridis). Green mussels are a kind of marine mollusk. They feed on planktons by filtering water around them continuously and during the process, contaminants are absorbed. Due to their large size and the ability to endure toxins, green mussels make good bioindicators for monitoring water quality, and can hopefully serve as a warning system for pollutants and contaminants.

Mussels left at Punggol Jetty
 
Bendemeer Secondary School students learning more about mussels at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
 
Mussels left at Punggol Jetty
 Bendemeer Secondary School students learning more
about mussels at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

 
 
Lab session at NIE to learn various techniques
to detect eco-toxicity effects on mussels

 Hands-on practice during the lab sessions

 

The biomonitoring programme is sponsored by Kosé Singapore, and is conducted in partnership with various schools around Singapore. Students will be able to participate in active research, learn more about the marine environment in Singapore, and contribute towards the protection of vulnerable coastal habitats. Through research field trips and experimental bioassays, the students can also learn more about the threats faced by marine ecosystems in Singapore.

Initiated in May 2014, this programme started with ten schools which signed up during the first year. This is the fourth year that the programme has been conducted.

Interested to be part of this programme? Please contact us at CIN@NParks.gov.sg for more details. 

Teachers who would like to find out more about the NIE in-service course to learn the experimental approach to Project Based Learning and the techniques used in this programme can also visit here.  The e-manual for laboratory techniques used in this programme can also be downloaded here.

 

Last updated on 28 September 2017

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