Since 2011, we have been conducting awareness, education, and coastal clean-up activities for the Las Piñas – Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area since 2011. LPPCHEA is a wetland popularly known as Freedom Islands. We jointly care for this wetland with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. Back then, it was covered in meter-thick garbage.
Along with Manila Bay, they continue to be threatened by garbage and pollution. Add to that the threat of reclamation. But the continuous work that different organizations has been doing for the Freedom Islands has enabled vegetation to flourish and migratory birds to continue using it as a resting place. Since 2011 advocates have been successful in drawing attention to it.
Right now a spotlight beams on the Freedom Islands at the global map. It currently is a Ramsar conservation site, increasing its significance to the global wetlands ecosystem. In the advent of climate change, coming together to protect the environment is one of the most crucial tasks of communities, especially advocates.
Yearly we continue to highlight the need to continue struggling for the LPPCHEA – for the migratory birds, for the people and communities who reside and have their livelihood in Manila Bay, and also for the nearby cities that are being protected by Freedom Islands’ natural barriers against typhoon surges.
Let us come together and reduce plastic waste that pollutes our waterways and wetlands. Let us in our collective way find solutions and alternatives to the use of single-use plastic bags and wasteful plastic packaging.
Let us fight reclamation and stop these projects at its track. Reclamation kills our coast and valuable water systems. Two bodies of water in the metro are constantly at threat of being murdered not just by garbage but also by reclamation – Manila Bay and Laguna lake. We ask our country’s leaders to lean more to the interests of coastal communities and environment rather than to big corporations, hotels, casinos, and malls.
Coastal Clean-up Checklist
Here are some basic things to bring, individually or can be in group. Note that we suggest to only pack light, only the essentials.
- Gloves (that could withstand tearing when you use hands to pickup garbage or hold equipment)
- Tong (for picking up garbage) for those that you can’t pickup using your hands with gloves
- Sack (for putting in garbage)
Please note that it is advisable to use sacks instead of the black garbage bags.
For Attire and Personal Hygiene
- Wear “Earth” colored clothes – brown, blue, green, etc, and not yellow, red or neon variants.
- Bring extra clothes for changing into after the clean-up
- Soap and water for washing (can be for individual or group)
- Drinking water and snacks. We suggest putting it in your reusable food boxes and water bottles.
Have breakfast or an early morning snack if possible.
Conduct of the Clean-up
We assemble straight AT FREEDOM ISLANDS from 5 AM to 6 AM.
From 6 AM to 6:30 AM, we conduct an ORIENTATION for TEAM/GROUP LEADERS or COORDINATORS. Please assign one for your group, and give us the name.
We’ll have a short program by 6:30 AM which will conclude in a general orientation for everyone attending.
We’ll start the clean-up by 7 AM which will last up to 9:30 AM. We’ll start wrapping up by 10 AM and be done by 10:30 AM. Soon enough everyone’s homeward bound.