Photographer's Note

September 16th of every year is calendar-marked among the environmental circles as International Coastal Clean-up Day. People from all over the world commits to a day of clearing their shorelines and waters of trash, record what they have found and assess which kinds of trash have been found and the kinds of animals entangled in them. Recommendations for further actions are then made and taken up.

I had the privelege last year to be invited to document, outside of my regular work, this activity held in Isla Verde, Batangas City. We almost did not proceed with the Coastal Clean-up as there had been a storm and rainy days before we came. But the college group I was with decided it's a go. Youth and their adventurous take on things, I thought. On the way, the big boat we were on had some pretty exciting moments being tossed by the waves though it was all bright and sunny. But it was part of the adventure.

As everyone was busy having fun doing the beach clean-up, this Isla Verde youngster opted to sit. What could be so pressing?

2006 will be the 20th year of this campaign-celebration. Try to find one in your area and let your time count.


Isla Verde is now getting more attention having been identified as one of the significant areas in the country that places the Philippines at the "center of the center of marine shorefish biodiversity" based on a recent study* by Kent Carpenter of Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA and Victor Springer of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. The most number of species in the world is said to be found in our waters and therefore all-the more needing special conservation efforts.

A few days before the clean-up, this study was presented further stressing the importance of the so-called Southeast Asian Marine Biodiversity Golden Triangle that the archipelagos of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines make up.

In our work, we try to make people see the interconnectedness of human life with its environment and with the other living species with whom this planet is shared. It is reward when people come to the realization that a single non-human species, no matter how small, and how far away from our homes and daily realities and so seemingly unimportant, has a bearing on our lives and the lives of our children. If only we take more time to think about it and do something no matter how small.


On a personal level, this is one of my favorite portraits. My only dissapointment is that I had unintentionally set the cam to ISO 400 and so the unclean look.

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Additional Photos by Tina Basco (TBasco) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 31] (143)
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