How many times have you been to the beach in the past year? It’s fun to frolic on the sand, to swim in the cool water, to dive and to snorkel. But while you’re having fun, have you thought about how your activities are affecting the very beach that provides you with amusement? Many people don’t, and as a result so many natural wonders are littered with garbage. With the increased income brought about by tourism comes a bigger amount of garbage, and often the local government doesn’t have the resources to cope.
Contributor KARA SANTOS shows us how bad it can get. Text and photos by Kara Santos.
GUIMARAS: Plastic bottles and junk food wrappers litter the shore of Guisi Beach in Guimaras, an island province in the Visayas. Aside from trash left by picnickers, rubbish discarded at sea is often washed ashore onto different beaches, polluting the coastline.
CARAMOAN: Plastic wrappers and aluminum cans left on Lahos Island, one of the islands of Caramoan in Camarines Sur, Bicol, by day-trippers.
BOLINAO: Seashells and dried starfish sold as souvenirs. According to Save Philippine Seas, shells and corals actually play important and useful roles in marine ecosystems and should be kept where they belong - in the ocean.
EL NIDO: Graffiti on top of Taraw cliffs in El Nido. Discarded mineral water bottles are also thrown down into the cracks of the cliffs from above.
BATANGAS: Debris litters the shoreline of an island off the coast of Verde Island Passage, an area considered very rich in marine shorefish biodiversity. According to scientists, it's not uncommon to find plastic bags, old diapers wrapped around corals, and dry cell batteries dissolving on the ocean floor in the area.
CAMPAIGN: A poster of PhilippineBeachers.org social media campaign "Leave Nothing but Footprints" pushing for responsible travel. Visit www.philippinebeaches.org/footprints for more information.
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