Monday, April 23, 2012

Freedom Island Coastal Clean-up

In celebration of Earth Day, me and some UPGL-mates joined Earth Island Institutes' Celebrate Earth Day by Cleaning Up the Freedom Island Coast on April 21

From the site:
[Freedom Island coast] is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that provides sanctuary to more than 80 species of local and migratory birds. Its diverse ecosystem also caters different marine creatures that are important to the livelihood of local fisher folks. But it is continuously threatened by the garbage problem and the impending reclamation project.

Photo grabbed from EII site | This was how the coast looked like almost a year ago.
According to a friend, clean-ups initiated by different groups have been continuously ongoing since last year. And here is the result:
This is how it looked like when we went there two days ago. Awesome! And yes, change is possible. 

There are still a lot of trash around, and the smell can still be awful when the wind blows, but overall I think the efforts to rehabilitate the place is going on splendidly. One thing that mars the golden horizon though, is the environmental, economic and somewhat-political woes that beset the place. I really hope that the people, company, agencies and others involve can settle into an understanding to protect this last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila (recite to self 1000x for the meaning to totally sink in. Last. as in Last). There'd be plenty of space elsewhere to build a casino or whatever, but mangroves can't just sprout anywhere.

And oh, the place is a bird sanctuary, home to about 80 species of birds. Leave it alone, please? (well, aside from cleaning it up, that is.)

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