Letter of the week: Pollution a bigger threat to beaches than manhandling of marine life, Forum News & Top Stories

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Instead of trying to discourage people from touching any life form at a public beach, we should be focusing on crowd control at intertidal areas (NParks taking steps to stop manhandling of marine life, June 16).

Only on a few days a month are tides extremely low, exposing more animals.

The number of signs put up at a small stretch of public beach outside the National Service Resort and Country Club to discourage the public from physical interaction with beach life far exceeds the number of signs telling beach visitors to be mindful of their litter.

I have visited this particular stretch of beach during low tide after the signs were put up, and removed 29 golf balls from the exposed seagrass beds in an hour.

The amount of plastic trash inundating the habitat and shoreline is equally shocking.

On the other end of this beach, the water is so murky that even the seagrass beds seem to be dying off.

Pollution is the biggest threat that such habitats face.

Nitpicking on incidents involving physical removal of some common animals at a public beach does not address the main threats such habitats face.

It serves only to alienate the public from visiting such places.

Public beaches are meant to be enjoyed by all, especially children, and we should not just be concerned about animals being removed while litter is everywhere.

One of the basic human senses is touch, important for nurturing interest in children.

Would it not be more educational and balanced to teach people the correct way of handling marine life, instead of advocating that they only observe the creatures visually?

Ong Junkai