In 2015, after recent visits by the Board and Senior Management of SeaKeepers, it was agreed that with the heightened consciousness of conservation in Singapore and surrounding region, it was timely to start to reach out to the region’s yacht owners and general public.
The International SeaKeepers Society established SeaKeepers Asia with the launch event Singapore 3D chaired by Board Member, Julian Chang and his wife, Sandra. This expansion with a new chapter in Asia is also under the leadership of Julian Chang, who is also an active member of the yachting and shipping industry in Singapore and China. He has been tasked with expanding the success of SeaKeepers’ programs to this region.
Building upon established international programming, the focus in Asia is on creating better local awareness of the current situation of our oceans in order to build a sense of appreciation and commitment to protect, conserve, and restore when possible.
Whilst these projects may not be applied in the same scale and manner as in the other regions of the world, with our core group of volunteers, our mission still is to save the oceans by applying the motto:
Research. Educate. Protect and Restore.
Our operations run parallel to the headquarters of SeaKeepers in Miami, Florida, with a main focus on expanding the impact of the DISCOVERY Yacht Program. This program includes the three essential aspects of DISCOVERY Yachts Programming:
- Education & Outreach Programs target youth and learning experiences aboard DISCOVERY Yachts that serve as “floating classrooms.” These programs will focus on marine wildlife, plastic pollution, and sustainability practices. Participants will include local schools and national organizations.
- Instrument Deployments are utilized for ocean monitoring through the deployment of SeaKeeper drifters, Argo Floats, BRUVs (baited remote underwater videos). SeaKeepers works with institutions within the USA, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Global FinPrint of FIU, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and Argo, to make ongoing oceanographic measurements. Data collected is used for oil spill and marine debris accumulation analyses, weather and hurricane prediction models, satellite quality control, and to better understand the marine environment.
- Scientist-Led Expeditions are conducted by leading researchers aboard DISCOVERY Yachts. SeaKeepers works with experts in the fields of marine science and oceanography to promote and facilitate groundbreaking research, as well as providing yacht owners, guests, and crew the opportunity to utilize their vessel to serve as an at-sea research platform.
Building upon established international programming, the focus in Asia will be on creating better local awareness of the current situation of our oceans in order to build a sense of appreciation and commitment to protect, conserve, and restore when possible.
The mix of programming is planned as follows:
- 60% Educational Outreach Programs
- 15% Community Activities
- 15% Instrument Deployments
- 10% Scientific Expeditions
Singapore Program Highlights
A Floating Classroom organised as part of the International SeaKeepers Society, Asia Educational Outreach Programme, took place on board of Discovery Yacht Luzerne on the 23 August. With a glimpse of what it requires to conduct a field study,16 students of the Changkat Changi Secondary School enjoyed an experience outside of their everyday activities which at the same time broadened their educational knowledge to include matters on marine science and Singapore’s biodiversity. Learn more.
Save The Blue Marine Cleanup
On June 10,2018, 18 volunteer divers set off early Sunday morning to the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park. Having planned to celebrate 2018 World Oceans Day and the International Year of the Reef, their mission was to save the ocean by collecting and documenting the marine debris found within the park. The divers were organized into smaller groups each led by an experienced dive guide and transported to the dive location in 2 boats. Dive guides from local dive company The Submersibles, National Parks Board (NParks) and Our Singapore Reefs did an excellent job of making sure that it was a safe, efficient and productive mission and that everyone had fun. Learn more
On Wednesday, March 13th, 24 volunteer divers traveled from Laguna Redang Island Resort to Terumbu Kili, located within Redang Island Marine Park in Terengganu, Malaysia, with a mission to undertake a Marine Clean Up and Coral Rescue. Covering an area of 119 sq. meters, the divers successfully removed a total of 130 pieces of marine debris weighing over 10.45 kgs. During the 40 minute dive, 91 pieces of fishing lines which were tangled within the pristine coral reefs were cleared, with no observations of animals tangled.
All debris were collected and transported back on land for weighing, sorting and proper disposal according to the guidelines set out from Project Aware. The data collected is now available online on Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris®, a citizen-science program that contributes to the global effort to combat marine debris.
Helping Hands at Redang Island Marine Clean Up and Coral Rescue mission was co organized by the International SeaKeepers Society, Asia and Laguna Redang Island Resort. The event was supported by the Universiti Terengganu Malaysia (UMT) and Our Singapore Reefs.
Under guidance from researchers of the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), the volunteer divers also were assisted to plant 100 rescued coral nubbins on bases before relocating them to the Laguna Redang Island Resort’s coral nursery to safeguard the corals and encourage survival and the growth rate of the broken coral by providing a stable substrate.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Asean Lady
70 students from Compassvale Secondary School‘s Environment Club attended SeaKeepers Asia’s first educational outreach of the year on January 19th. The students attended a presentation given by Mr. Chua Sek Chuan, Senior Manager, Outreach and Education of St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, which covered an “Introduction to Marine Science & Conservation”. After the presentation the students had the opportunity to engage with Mr. Chaun and ask questions about marine science.
After the initial outreach, 20 students were invited to join a Floating Classroom which took place on February 2 on board DISCOVERY Yacht Asean Lady. Marine Biologists from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore gave a presentation on Singapore’s marine biodiversity and the current challenges. Students learned about a successful research project that involved transplanting corals onto man-made structures on seawalls around the Singapore coastline. The project is proving to be conducive for marine life, and reducing the impact of coastal development and loss of marine biodiversity.
The students also participated in a plankton trawl exercise, practiced identifying marine organisms, and learned about dive gear. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Asean Lady
On January 26th SeaKeepers Asia hosted a “Floating Classroom” with 20 students from Deyi Secondary School on board DISCOVERY Yacht Asean Lady. This was the First floating classroom session for 2018 and the 2nd time that the Deyi Secondary School participated in the International SeaKeepers Society Asia Educational Outreach Program. The students are studying pure geography which covers the study of corals, perfectly matching the specialization of the lecturers from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of National University of Singapore. During the 4 hour session, topics ranged from understanding Singapore’s Biodiversity to the effects of coral bleaching on the marine environment.
Despite the heavy rain, the students enthusiastically participated in the hands on learning experience of collecting water samples from the Marina and made some surprising discoveries when viewing the samples under the microscope. On the topic of ‘how marine research is conducted’, the students were treated to a dive gear demonstration. For most students, this was the first time they encountered dive gear and gained an understanding of the importance of the safety aspects when diving. In between the fun learning sessions, the students enjoyed a tea break organised by Raffles Marina.
As the final highlight of their learning journey, the Deyi students took a tour of DISCOVERY Yacht Asean Lady. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y The Admiral
On October 31st, Students from Nan Hua High School attended a Floating Classroom on board D/Y The Admiral at Marina at Keppel Bay.In preparation for the Floating classroom, the students joined an Introductory Lesson which was specially crafted and facilitated by the St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, Outreach and Education team, and held earlier at their school premises.The Floating Classroom session on Singapore’s marine biodiversity was taught by scientists from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore. Based on a practical approach to learning the students were engaged with microscopy work on the water samples collected from the Marina. As a further enhancement to the learning experience, Marina at Keppel Bay conducted a presentation and tour of the Marina’s Coral Reef at Keppel Bay. The enthusiastic students showed a keen interest in the corals and the environment and took away lots of information which they planned to share at their school’s Open House Day. Learn More.
Children ages 4 and over participated in marine conservation activities at the Conservation Corner during the Singapore Rendezvous 2017 on October 8th at Raffles Marina. The Conservation Corner was presented by Raffles Marina Ltd; International SeaKeepers Society, Asia; Nature Society Singapore (NSS) Marine Conservation Group and Our Singapore Reefs.
NSS, Marine Conservation Group provided information boards and display items at the Conservation Corner related to the marine conservation activities regarding the Horse Shoe Crab Project and Mangroves around Singapore. Our Singapore Reefs conducted two games with key conservation messages at the Conservation Corner. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y The Admiral
On August 1, ten students from the Changkat Changi Secondary School’s Young Enriched Scientist (Yes) Program participated in the SeaKeepers Asia’s floating classroom session aboard D/Y The Admiral. Scientists from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of Singapore of the National University of Singapore presented lessons aimed at fostering awareness and curiosity about Marine Science and Conservation. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y The Admiral & D/Y Advisors Alliance
On July 14, SeaKeepers Asia supported an educational outreach opportunity with students from Serangoon Gardens Secondary School aboard two DISCOVERY Yachts. The students participated in a floating classroom session at the Marina at Keppel Bay on board D/Y The Admiral. Scientists from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore presented on Singapore’s marine biodiversity and the current challenges faced. Learn More.
In June and July, The International SeaKeepers Society, Asia added a new program to Educational Outreach Programming. With the support of Programming Partner, Rolls Royce, an Introductory Lesson is now also offered to students at Singapore schools on the premises before students are invited to participate in SeaKeepers’ signature Floating Classroom sessions aboard DISCOVERY Yachts. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Lady Olivia
On June 4, SeaKeepers Asia joined a number of local groups to participate in Our Singapore Reefs: Marine Clean Up and Coral Rescue in conjunction with World Oceans Day 2017. Twenty volunteer divers aboard the dive boat, Dolphin Explorer, clean reefs in Sisters’ Islands Marine Park of Singapore. Learn More
Expedition Aboard D/Y Paraffin
On June 2, fifteen boys from the nonprofit Tasek Jurong Limited came aboard D/Y Paraffin to learn about marine science and research diving. Researchers from the National University of Singapore lead the lesson about changing coastlines and coral reefs. The lesson included collecting samples of plankton and looking at them under the microscope. The participants were also able to try on SCUBA gear as they learned about how diving is important for research efforts. Afterwards, they also learned about how the marina is working to minimize its impact on the environment. Learn More
Expedition Aboard D/Y Asean Lady
On December 5, 2016, fifteen children from the Girls Club and Gift of Music Group of Tasek Jurong Limited came aboard D/Y Asean Lady to learn about marine invertebrates. Researchers from the National University of Singapore lead the lesson and participants collected planktonic organisms in Raffles marina and then examined them using microscopes onboard. Learn More.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Lady Jo
On July 29, 2016, DISCOVERY Yacht members David and Jo Haines hosted students from Ang Mo Kio Secondary School in Singapore aboard the D /Y Lady Jo as part of an Educational Outreach Program .On the vessel, scientists Dr. Ng Ngan Kee and her team from the National University of Singapore facilitated a unique learning excursion for these students geared toward maximizing their engagement with real science. Learn more.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Lady Jo
On July 27, 2016, DISCOVERY Yacht members David and Jo Haines hosted students from Deyi Secondary School in Singapore aboard the D /Y Lady Jo as part of an Educational Outreach Program .On the vessel, scientists Dr. Toh Tai Chong and his team from the National University of Singapore facilitated a unique learning excursion for these students geared toward maximizing their engagement with real science. Learn more.
Expedition Aboard D/Y Asean Lady
On March 14, 2016, SeaKeepers Asia conducted its inaugural educational outreach day in conjunction with the Singapore American School. Students joined Dr. NG Ngan Kee, a lecturer and research associate from the National University of Singapore, to learn about coastal development and local marine life onboard D/Y Asean Lady at Raffles Marina, Singapore. Learn More.
A Focus on Youth
Our core focus is the International SeaKeepers Society Outreach Program. Targeted at youth, learning experiences are aboard DISCOVERY Yachts that are transformed “floating classrooms”. The outreach program is composed of two stages. The first is schoolchildren who are invited on board DISCOVERY Yachts (private vessels supplied by members of the Society) and participate in marine-based lessons with experts from various fields of science. The second stage is the sharing of this knowledge at the school premises to allow for deeper facilitation of the program’s curriculum.
SeaKeepers works with institutions, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Argo, to make ongoing oceanographic measurements with SeaKeepers Drifters and Argo floats. Additionally we are promoting Global FinPrint of Florida International University (FIU). Global FinPrint is a Paul G. Allen initiative which deploys BRUVs (baited remote underwater videos) to execute the largest global survey of reef sharks and rays.
Community engagement is a key component to create awareness of ocean research, conservation, and restoration. Plans are currently underway to celebrate International Ocean Day.
SeaKeepers & Rolls-Royce
SeaKeepers typically hosts signature events throughout the year that highlight aspects of our programming and achievements to date. SeaKeepers events attract prominent yachtsmen, business leaders, philanthropists, and like minded individuals. SeaKeepers Asia hosts the Asia Awards Dinner every year, hosted by Dinner Chairs Julian and Sandra Chang. At this annual event, local leadership and educators are recognized for their extraordinary efforts and commitment towards marine conservation. The SeaKeepers of Singapore Award and the SeaKeepers Asia Achievement Award are presented on this occasion.