Bicolanos help in coastal clean up

COASTAL CLEAN UP - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Legazpi Central led volunteers in cleaning the coastlines of the Albay Gulf as Department of Environment and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Legazpi Central as part of the 25th International Coastal Clean Up Day.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Coastal and Marine Management Division and Environmental Management Bureau said that  as of press time, an estimated 1,300 kilograms of trash were hauled out from the beaches and waterways of Legazpi City alone.

Moreover, workers at the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project (RRPP) and mining stakeholders picked up a total of some 3,700 kilos of garbage in two separate cleanup drives in Barangay Pagcolbon here in line with the celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day.

DENR-CMMD/EMB and the Rotary Club of Legazpi Central spearheaded the ICC Day last Saturday in the Albay Gulf. Alongside the cleaning up of beaches and waterways, the Bicol Scuba Divers Foundation Inc. cleared identified coral reefs off the shores of Albay Gulf.

Last year, 13,000 kilograms of trash were cleared by 2,000 volunteers in Bicol region. According to the 2010 Annual Marine Debris Report by the Ocean Conservancy, the lead organization for the ICC, the Philippines ranked 2nd next only to the United States, likewise, was able to mobilize in 2009 a total of 74,493 volunteers who collected from a cleanup area of 2,427 kilometers a total of more than 327,000 kilograms of debris. Of these, there were 24,751 pieces of plastic bags.

Information on the number of volunteers and type and number of waste gathered are indicated on data cards, which are filled in on-site and later summarized and reported to Ocean Conservancy. These cards show that most of the debris or pieces of trash polluting our waterways and oceans are from everyday human consumption and activities, such as cigarette butts, food wrappers, cans, bottles, and plastic bags.

ICC Day is organized by Ocean Conservancy as a global effort to remove trash and debris from beaches and waterways, and aims to change human behaviors that allow them to reach the ocean in the first place. To date the ICC is acknowledged as the world’s largest one-day volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment.

In the Philippines, the observance is in consonance with Proclamation No. 470 dated Sept. 15, 2003, which declared every third Saturday of September each year as the International Coastal Cleanup Day, consistent with Presidential Proclamation No. 244 declaring September as National Cleanup Month.

This year’s observance is focused on the theme: “Trash Travels – From our Hands to the Sea, round the Globe, and Through Time”, complemented with the national theme “Basurang Pinabayaan, Problema Hanggang Ibang Bayan”.

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