More than 4,000 volunteers helped clean about 40 kilometers of beaches in the southern Philippines to celebrate Coral Triangle Day on June 9, 2015.
Six coastal communities surrounding the 30,000-hectare Dumanquillas Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape converged for one goal: to promote trash-free seas.
“The lessons from school about environmental protection have grown on them and now they can be good stewards of the coasts,” said Bryan Bitantos, instructor from the College of Forestry and Environmental Studies in Mindanao State University
Dumanquillas Bay serves as a nursing ground for tuna and other commercially important fish such as sardines. Around 50% of the household income in the area comes from marine resources. The bay feeds not only the families on the Zamboanga peninsula but also on other parts of the island of Mindanao.
Schools, local government offices, law enforcement agencies, and civil society organizations participated in the event. Almost half of the volunteers were students.
The Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle – Southeast Asia project, supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility, helped organize the cleanup.
The project partnered with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Protected Area Management Bureau, and local government leaders to organize the event.
The activity also contributed to the global effort of protecting the oceans. After segregating the trash, volunteers filled out trash data forms which will be reported to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup movement, the world’s largest volunteer effort on behalf of ocean health.
This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank.