Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore

Day Three
by -- March 15th, 2012

This morning we woke up to pouring rain. March is supposed to be part of the dry season, but I suppose when we are just over 100 miles north of the equator we should expect rain anytime. But we bravely ventured out to see the sights in the rain.

Appropriately, our first stop was a Stacked Wetland. Most of the streams and drainage ditches are now concrete lined canals, and with so many roads and buildings runoff and flooding is a major issue. Singapore also collects the runoff to recycle into drinking water. Along one of the canals new demonstration wetlands were built above the canals to slow and filter the waters. The government also improved and beautified the sides of the canals to provide greenways for residents to enjoy.

After lunch we took a bus tour of the island. We traveled around the entire island in about 3 hours. It is easy to see the entire country when it is only about 20 miles by 10 miles. We got good views of the major shipping terminals, industrial areas, small farms and aquaculture facilities, and reservoirs. We stopped to look across the Straits of Johor to see Malaysia. Other highlights included the last remaining traditional Malay fishing village on the island and a look at the cemeteries of the major religious and ethnic groups on the islands, Traditional Chinese, Christian, and Muslim. Each of the cemeteries is distinctive and shows some of the diversity of religious traditions in Singapore.

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