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28 September 2010

4,000 Subic volunteers join International Coastal Clean-Up Day

Close to 4,000 residents, employees, students, and some visitors in this free port joined this year’s coastal clean-up drive here that was undertaken in support of the International Coastal Clean-Up Day and in connection with an international study on the global problem of marine trash.

The cleanup, which was held at the two-kilometer beachfront along the Waterfront Road here on Saturday, was spearheaded by the Lighthouse Marina Resort (LMR) in coordination with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

The activity was also supported by the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians, Rotary Club of Cubao West, Philippine Marketing Association of Zambales, Moonbay Marina Complex, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau, and Ideal Niche Business Solutions.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said the marine trash monitoring activity will help policy makers draw better solutions to the problem on marine trash, with the recorded data going to Ocean Conservancy, a non-stock, non-profit organization founded in 1972 to identify global marine threats.

He added that the clean-up drive “is a manifestation of SBMA support to activities that aim to protect and conserve the environment, particularly to keep Subic Bay free of pollution.”

A total of 3,927 volunteers scoured the stretch of the beach here, armed with sticks and trash bags to pick up litters and trash along the way.

Some local divers also collected trash in the bay, bringing to shore mostly plastic materials washed into the bay through various tributary rivers.

LMR resident manager Argee Gomez, who coordinated the event, said that the project forms part of efforts by Subic stakeholders to reduce trash and other debris at the Subic’s beachfront, which is one of the most prominent and visited areas inside the free port.

“It is imperative that a pro-active, continuous and sustainable clean-up program be put in place here,” Gomez said, pointing out that Subic Bay is considered the biggest natural asset of the of the free port.

In last Saturday’s event, Gomez said that the 3,927 volunteers in Subic collected a total of 6,075 kilos of trash from collections made in the beach clean-up and underwater dives.

In 2009, Gomez added, some 74,500 volunteers from 60 provinces collected a total of 327,345 kilos of garbage from activities that covered a total of 2,427 kilometers of beaches.

Among the worldwide participants that year, the Philippines ranked second to the United States, which had a total of 218,799 volunteers.

The International Coastal Clean-up Day started in 1986 in Texas and is being observed every third Saturday of September each year.

Aside from the clean-up drive, the Subic activity also included a public forum on conservation, climate change and waste management.

Organizers also put up a photo contest that covered the actual clean-up drive, and an exhibit of photos taken during last year’s clean-up drive. (SBMA Corporate Communications)


PHOTO:

Volunteers from the Subic Bay Freeport and neighboring communities lend a hand in cleaning the beach at Subic’s Boardwalk Park.

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