Last September 19, 2009, Saturday, the 24th International Coastal Cleanup marked another milestone in the continuing responsibility for our oceans. People from all walks of life responded to the call for a Sea Change – a chance to give back to the oceans.
Volunteers gave their precious time to do their share in caring for our fragile marine environment. The sight of our volunteers was, indeed, an important manifestation of the continuing Sea Change. More importantly, it was a beautiful sunny day and our volunteers made it more meaningful by collecting and recording the important information on what’s littering our oceans.
No matter how busy we were, we responded for three main reasons: it is doing the right thing and leaving our world better than we found it; trash in the ocean is one of the most widespread pollution problems we face - yet, it's also entirely preventable; litter and trash isn't just ugly — it impacts local economies, seafood industries, and recreation, and reduces our access to beaches.
In behalf of the Ocean Conservancy and ICC Philippines, we would like to extend a simple expression of gratitude to our volunteers – thank you so much for joining the cleanup. To our “Sea Stars” – coordinators, organizers, sponsors and our government leaders: thank you for sustaining the light of hope - we all made a difference turning the tide of a rising marine debris.
We know that this action may only be a “drop in a bucket” in the marine debris crises but it gives a meaningful manifestation that we really do care for our oceans, rivers, lakes – our lifeline to our survival in our one and only planet.
We can solve the problem of ocean trash and prevent its most serious impacts. No pair of hands can do it alone, together we can do it!
GERONIMO P. REYES/ROMEO B. TRONO
ICC Philippines Coordinators