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  ABC/CBN News 14 Sep 07
Cleanup offers hope for Philippines marine life
By Katherine Adraneda
The Philippine Star

Block Island Times 10 Sep 07
Beach cleanup to benefit right whales

The Canadian Press 12 Sep 07
Cleanup initiative calls on Canadians to help spruce up country's shorelines

Daytona Beach Journal Online 8 Sep 07
Coastal cleanup reduces risk to wildlife
By Dinah Voyles Pulver Environmental Writer

Beach lovers with time on their hands Sept.15 can join thousands who plan to hit the beaches worldwide for the annual International Coastal Cleanup. Cleanups are planned in Volusia and Flagler counties, as well as Canaveral National Seashore.

Volunteers may not find anything as dramatic as the seal rescued by a group at Hobe Sound during last year's cleanup, but organizers say every piece of trash collected reduces the risk that another animal could be injured or entangled in debris.

Each year, more than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea turtles, whales and dolphins are injured worldwide by discarded fishing line, plastic gear and other trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy, which coordinates the annual cleanup effort.

Locally, the injured sea life often winds up at the Marine Science Center.

"We regularly see animals that have encountered materials that we either throw away or allow to get away from us," Director Michael Brothers said. "When we see the effects these materials have on our wildlife, it can be very sad.

"We had one sea turtle brought in just the other day with five different kinds of fish hooks in its mouth," Brothers said.

"It's great for people to get out and help clean up those beaches."

Worldwide last year, 358,617 volunteers participated, cleaning up 34,560 miles of shoreline and 7 million pounds of trash. The Conservancy also coordinated an underwater cleanup, with 7,315 divers netting more than 227,000 pounds of debris from the ocean floor and riverbeds.

Volunteers can be a motley group, from local environmental groups and youth clubs to students ordered to do community service. The United States accounts for about half of the total volunteers, including Puerto Rico, where participation doubled last year.

Cleanup locations will be staged Sept. 15 all along the coast of Volusia and Flagler counties. Those planning to participate should pre-register with one of the cleanup coordinators. Volunteers in all locations are asked to wear gloves, hats and sunscreen.

Last year, 180 volunteers picked up 2,000 pounds of trash from the shoreline at Canaveral National Seashore. Park entrance fees will be waived for those participating in the cleanup.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. at the Visitor Information Center, 7611 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach. For more information, contact Laura Henning at (386) 428-3384, ext. 18.

ABC/CBN News 14 Sep 07
Cleanup offers hope for Philippines marine life
By Katherine Adraneda
The Philippine Star

As the world celebrates International Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed hope that marine turtles would again nest in Manila Bay.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) recently released a 70-centimeter-long olive ridley turtle, thought to be bearing eggs, following its treatment at the Wildlife Rescue Center.

The turtle was rescued by fishermen in Navotas last Sept. 7. “While the once blue waters (of Manila Bay) have (now) turned dark with pollution, there are still glimmers of hope,” the PAWB’s Pawikan Conservation Project said in a statement. “Thankfully, there are still sandy shores in Manila Bay for sea turtles to nest.”

The PAWB Pawikan Conservation Project is urging the public to join in its effort to clean the waters of Manila Bay, and other seas and bodies of water in the country during the celebration of the International Coastal Cleanup.

Keeping the seas clean, it said, would help facilitate the return of marine turtles, and other marine resources, in the oceans of the country, including Manila Bay.

“Sea turtles need all the help we can give them,” the PAWB’s Pawikan Conservation Project said. “Many concerned citizens and companies are doing their share. You can help by joining in the removal of plastics from the sea during the celebration of the International Coastal Cleanup Day.”

For four years now, Dive Republic, together with the Quezon City government and the Philippine Finswimming Federation Inc., have been organizing groups to take part in the international coastal cleanup, during which hundreds of thousands of volunteers from several countries simultaneously clean the shorelines, oceans and waterways, of litter and debris.

This year’s event, according to Dive Republic’s Benedict Reyes, will be an entire day of actually learning about the consequences of careless disposal of trash and wastes. People can also support the event as a sponsor or donor.

“However you support this event, what you give will enable us to extend the reach of our advocacy,” he said.

On Sept. 22, a coastal cleanup activity will be held at the Anilao Outrigger Resort in Mabini, Batangas. According to the PAWB Pawikan Conservation Project, there was a time when Manila Bay, which is famous worldwide for its beautiful sunsets, was teeming with life.

In 1927, a renowned scientist only identified as Dr. Taylor had written that marine turtles were “frequently taken in Manila Bay.”

The PAWB Pawikan Conservation Project also said that in 2004, an official of the municipal environment and natural resources office (MENRO) in Cavite chanced upon children playing with marine turtle babies along the shores of Tanza town.

Menandro Dimaranan, who was officer-in-charge of the MENRO, took the hatchlings and took care of them with the help of the DENR, officials of Barangay Julugan VIII, and private individuals. The marine turtle hatchlings were later found to be olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles, one of the seven known species of marine turtles in the world.

The PAWB Pawikan Conservation Project said the rescue of the olive ridley turtles hatchlings in Tanza proved that some sea turtles can still survive in Manila Bay.

Almost 200 years ago, a German scientist named Eschscholtz got a turtle specimen from the bay and used it to scientifically describe the olive ridley, the smallest species of sea turtles in the world.

Many sea turtles meet a sad end in Manila Bay, the PAWB Pawikan Conservation Project revealed. About 20 turtles from Manila Bay had died over the past five years.

The dead marine turtles were found with plastics in their stomachs that they could have mistaken for food. Last year, a mother turtle carrying hundreds of eggs died of complications after attempting to lay her eggs in the sands fronting the Baseco compound in Tondo.

Block Island Times 10 Sep 07
Beach cleanup to benefit right whales

“We are focusing on right whales this year,” says Audubon Society of Rhode Island Executive Director Lawrence Taft, “because they are the most endangered species, and their feeding habits make them vulnerable to consuming floating plastic materials.”

“Wildlife need humans to make sure trash never reaches the water,” says Eugenia Marks, policy director at Audubon and state coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup.

“Whales that feed by taking in large mouthfuls of ocean water and straining it through baleen swallow whatever is floating among the mass of shrimp-like krill that whales eat. Non-digestible plastics take up space in their stomachs and deprive them of nutrients. Whales also become entangled in derelict fishing and boating lines that lacerate their skin and lead to life-threatening infections.”

Only 396 right whales remain in the North Atlantic population, according to the latest count by a consortium of scientists monitoring whales. They are the most endangered whale and protected by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) and Endangered Species Act (1973).

Right whales spend the summer feeding and breeding in the cold, rich waters off New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. They migrate south for the winter. Pregnant females gather in the waters along the coast of Georgia and northern Florida, their only known birthing site. The winter whereabouts of the rest of the right whales is unknown.

Because right whales are large and have a thick layer of blubber, which was sought for oil used to light lamps before electricity was commercially available, they were the right whale to hunt, and thus their name.

Right whale population in the North Atlantic was depleted by the beginning of the 20th century, and various factors, including occasional taking by international floating whale factories, have prevented a resurgence. It is estimated that 80 percent to 95 percent of whale populations were killed during the era of commercial whaling.

Plastics are useful for their lightweight, strength and durability, but these same properties make them lethal in the aquatic environment.

Beach users, boaters and people who fish can take home for proper disposal all the plastic and other materials they bring to the shore: Styrofoam cups and bait trays, sandwich and other plastic bags, plastic bottles, fishing line, boating lines, light sticks, and various small pieces of plastic that can be mistaken for food items.

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is held each year on the third Saturday of September and is administered by The Ocean Conservancy, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for marine issues. In addition to the 82 sites in Rhode Island, the ICC will occur in 100 countries outside the U. S.

The Canadian Press 12 Sep 07
Cleanup initiative calls on Canadians to help spruce up country's shorelines

TORONTO (CP) — A gun barrel and stolen car bear all the hallmarks of items that might be found at a grisly crime scene or a forensics lab - not during a coastline cleanup. But they are among a long list of out-of-the-ordinary finds collected over the years during a nationwide campaign to beautify Canada's shorelines.

Armed with gloves and recycling bags, volunteers from coast to coast are scheduled to take part in the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation initiative by the Vancouver Aquarium.

But organizers say it's not just about eliminating the eyesore of bottles and food wrappers from oceans and lakes. The eight-day event is also aimed at highlighting the threat shoreline litter can pose to animals.

More than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine animals are killed each year by shoreline litter, according to the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by U.S.-based group Ocean Conservancy.

In 2006, Canada's cleanup ranked the second largest of almost 90 participating countries around the world, with more than 40,000 volunteers retrieving more than 84,700 kilograms of litter.

Since 1986, participants have cleared more than 45 million kilos of trash from more than 273,000 kilometres of shorelines, rivers, lakes, and wetlands during International Coastal Cleanup Day, touted as the largest and most successful volunteer event of its kind.

This year, it will be held Saturday, while the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup will continue on until Sept. 23.

What might appear to be innocuous stray pieces of materials - such as bits of fishing line and nets - have been found encircling the necks of seals and sea lions, and can pose a danger to animals down the road, said Eric Solomon, the Vancouver Aquarium's vice-president of conservation research and education.

"The sad thing there, of course, is those things don't grow as the animal grows, and that means that they very slowly are choking these animals as they grow."

Solomon said colleagues have come across the unsightly remains of unsuspecting animals that ingest discarded debris.

"We work with a lot of people who also spend a lot of time on the ocean seeing images, for instance, of bird carcasses where the body of the bird is just filled with plastic, everything from bottle caps to cigarette lighters, cigarette butts, straws," he said.

"So what you would see is a pile of bones in the shape of a bird with a whole bunch of plastic where the stomach would have been. It's startling."

Roger St. Louis, regional manager of TD's Friends of the Environment Foundation, said a growing environmental consciousness among Canadians has translated into a boost in cleanup involvement.

"The public is more aware of environmental issues than they were maybe 10, 12 years ago, and certainly when we started the program, our involvement, the numbers weren't as high, but we've seen a continuous growth every year."

Some 50,388 participants are registered to clean up more than 1,200 sites.

Students at Dalhousie University in Halifax got a jump on the action last Sunday when volunteers participated in a cleanup on the shores of Point Pleasant Park as part of orientation week. Lori Rogers, a third-year environmental law student and volunteer co-ordinator, is still amazed after three years taking part by how quickly the items recovered can rack up.

"You find big things like pieces of boats, metals, bottles, running shoes, flip flops," she said. "You don't think of a cigarette butt here and there, but when you think of the volume total that the 50 or so people that we have and everybody's finding them, I think that's what's most surprising."

Solomon said the trash that washes into the water is often discarded in city streets, which is why it's important to recognize ocean pollution is largely a land-based problem.

"I'm in downtown Vancouver and I throw my cigarette butt out the window of my car, that's almost certainly going to end up in the ocean," he said. "Next time it rains, it's going to wash into the gutter that's going to wash down into a culvert that's going to spill it out into a stream that's going to run it down into the watershed and into the ocean."

"We may think we're not connected to the ocean when we toss that plastic bag or that cigarette butt out the window, but you might as well be throwing it right into the ocean."

You CAN make a difference
your own shopping habits
Encourage others to do the same
ACT against litter that harms the environment
It's NOT just about picking up litter...
Learn more about Singapore's own Coastal Cleanup effort
Join our own ICCS efforts, subscribe to the mailing list to be updated on upcoming efforts

Related articles on marine litter and plastic bags
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