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Linis Kalikasan: A coastal, underwater cleanup drive by PREPR

September 7, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 353 views

IN this era of rapid globalization, the oceans have never been more in danger. Waste has been dumped into oceans for decades, threatening and endangering marine ecosystems. This is more urgent for a country like the Philippines, whose marine ecosystems are one of the richest and most diverse in the world, and the Philippine Rotary wants to do its part in protecting it.

The Philippine Rotary Emergency Preparedness and Rescue Foundation (PREPR) is organizing “Linis Kalikasan,” a coastal and underwater cleanup in Mabini, Batangas on 17 September 2022, with the venue at Pier Uno Dive Resort. This is done in solidarity with Rotarians from all over the world in celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day established on the same date by the Ocean Conservancy, an organization that works to protect our oceans from man-made dangers and challenges.

The event will consist of two simultaneous cleanups—a coastal cleanup of the beaches of Mabini, and an underwater cleanup of select dive spots in partnership with Planet Dive. In addition to the cleanup, participants are also encouraged to do underwater photography, of which a winner will be chosen in a photo contest.

Interested participants of Linis Kalikasan can register by messaging the PREPR Facebook page. Call time at the venue is at 7:00AM, with the cleanup drive (both coastal and underwater) beginning at 8:30AM. Lunch will be provided, and a Fellowship Night will be held after the cleanup. The complete itinerary for the day of the cleanup is as follows: ​7 a.m., call time/check in; ​8 a.m. opening ceremony; ​8:30 a.m. start of coastal and underwater cleanup drives, and the photo contest; ​12:30 p.m., lunch;
​1:30 p.m. one-hour environmental protection seminar at Piero Uno conference room;
and ​3 p.m. end of the cleanup/ photo contest awarding.

Gladwin So, lead person for the project, sees this event as an opportunity to preserve the beauty of our marine ecosystems for future generations. “What PREPR wants to achieve [with this cleanup] is to let the next generation experience the beauty of underwater nature. Kung wala tayong gagawin, baka puro buhangin nalang makita natin underwater. [If we don’t do anything to clean our oceans, there will be a time when all we’ll see is dust and sand underwater.]”

The project is organized by the PREPR Foundation, created as a disaster management and response unit for the Rotary District 3780, Rotary International and boasts rescue trucks, ambulances, and fire trucks for its operations. The foundation provides assistance and humanitarian aid to areas affected by disasters such as typhoons, and provides seminars on disaster management and pre-hospital care management. Linis Kalikasan is the foundation’s first underwater activity, and its first event being organized as a proactive response to prevent future disasters.