International Coastal Cleanup – How you can help make a difference!

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Last September 27, 2014, we arrived at around 6:30am to get a head start on the activities. Various corporations, NGOs and volunteer groups were present at different points along the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) for the International Coastal Cleanup.

The volunteers from ivolunteer and Haribon were split into groups of four to five people. A data recorder was also assigned per group to record information on a standardized “Ocean Trash Data Form” for every trash collected. The event was well-organized and volunteers from different age groups and walks of life dotted the Manila Bay coastal area.

Under the heat of the sun and equipped with gloves, pickers and sacks, volunteers enthusiastically picked up everything and anything that should not be on the beach – including extraordinary trash such as crib and appliances. As expected, the trash washed up on the shore were mostly plastic – food wrappers, sachets, plastic bags, plastic cups, cup holders and the like. These shoreline litter are both an eyesore and a threat to wildlife. Aside from habitat destruction, marine animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles…and even sea birds get entangled in them and often mistake these litter as food.

It was good to see a lot of people actively taking part in clearing up the trash but it would be better to see a beach that requires no cleaning.

The ICC (International Coastal Cleanup) is a great way to get people thinking and acting. Hopefully, more and more people will become empowered to take positive action in protecting our environment and make lifestyle changes that will bring about a lasting solution in our fight for a healthy ocean.

-Liselle Santos

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