Different field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 have conducted simultaneous coastal clean-up operationsin light of the celebration of Month of the Ocean (MOO) every month of May.

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and it is home to thousands of living species. This year’s Month of the Ocean Celebration with the theme “The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want,” is inspired by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

It is important to increase our appreciation on what science can do to protect our oceans and convey these learnings to our fellow citizens. People around the globe have come up with actions such as conducting coastal clean-up operations to address impacts from climate change and marine pollutions that threatens our coastal environments.

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Culasi in the province of Antique together with their local government unit (LGU) conducted a clean-up drive along the shores of Brgy. Lamputong,Culasi Antique. Thirty-eight (38) volunteers participated in the activity, collecting six sacks of non-biodegradable wastes consisting of plastics, bottles and cans.Short Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign about the importance of ocean and its resources in our life helped to educate the citizen in managing their wastes.

A coastal clean-up activity was conducted at Purok I, Brgy. Libas, Roxas City initiated by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Capiz, Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) Environmental Monitoring Officers (EnMOs) and LGUs where a total of 51 sacks equivalent to 2,725 kilograms of trash consisting of plastic bags, plastic cups, bottles, straws, spoon forks, styro cups, rugs, used nets, nylon strings, cigarette butts, backpack, trolley bag and glass bottles were collected.

In the island province of Guimaras, almost 700 kilograms of trash were picked up during their coastal clean-up activity at Brgy. Avila, Buenavista, Guimaras, with volunteers from PENRO Guimaras together with the LGUs and Avila Fisherfolks Association, Inc. (AFAI), a partner stakeholder, the coastal clean-up and mangrove planting activity were conducted at Brgy. Igcawayan, San Lorenzo, Guimaras. An estimated 20 kilograms of waste were collected and they were also able to plant 200 pieces of Bacauanpropagules.

PENRO Negros Occidental, CENRO Kabankalan City, LGUs, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) and others participated in the coastal clean-up collecting 25 sacks of trash and attended an IEC lecture on Beat Plastic Pollution and Ocean Science, emphasizing the importance of coastal and marine resources and our roles as steward of the environment to protect and conserve marine life at Brgy. Tagda, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental.

These initiatives help in conserving our marine wildlife and the ocean that sustainably feeds the global population with food supply and develops equitable ocean economy.

“Coastal clean-ups help remove plastics in the shore to prevent wind-up in the ocean. Plastic debris that are less than five millimeters in length called, “microplastics’’ threats our marine animals. Managing our waste is highly encouraged to save our marine wildlife species,” said regional executive director Livino B. Duran.

Clean Water, Solid Waste Management and Scaling-up Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Program are among the top priority of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.