Gremlins of La Union Surf Club

Gremlins of La Union Surf Club: A role for Children in Marine Life Conservation

 

It is often said that children “run” the future, that whatever they learned from the past and in the present, would reflect to the next generation.

To raise the awareness and to give a better understanding to children about the significant roles of marine life in our lives, DENR-1 through the initiative of Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS), in collaboration with different sectors of society, conducted and facilitated a three (3) day of event that highlighted the conservation, protection, and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources in which participated by thirty (30) children of La Union Surf Club last May 7-9, 2014 in the Surfing Capital of the North San Juan, La Union.

The said Environmental Action Week is in line with the celebration of the “Month of the Ocean” that has been observed since 1999 every Month of May, which has been declared through the Presidential Proclamation No. 57.

Enjoined by the conserted efforts of Environmentalists, Marine Consultant from the Province Laura Riavitz, Surf Club President Micky Galang and Regina Tibong of the Scientific of Identity Foundation of Coastal Underwater Resource Management Action (SIF-CURMA) and DENR-1 staff, the Environmental Action Week successfully achieved its objective in demonstrating the importance of the ocean to the children in a fun and progressive way.

Topics about the different classifications of sea creatures, their essential roles in the marine environment, and marine organisms’ continuous extinction has illustrated through film viewing, lecture, and discussion. More than simple classroom instructions and for a better perspective, hands-on activities were experienced by children participants through gazing the coral reefs with different variety of marine species with the exhibit that was prepared by DENR-1 including treasure hunting along the seashore for sea turtle (known as pawikan). Moreover, children recited/answered questions relative to the topic discussed and learned. And to make the activity more exciting, rewards and prizes were given away to deserving youth participants.

The children bared their own creativity and proactive interest in protecting the devastating marine environment through creating signboards with their own preferred message and explained their works afterwards. Furthermore, each wrote his/her name at the back of the board to show the world their bestowed eagerness and sympathy in safeguarding the ocean and the marine organisms. The sign boards will be displayed at the Sand Bar Resort, San Juan, La Union.

           The San Juan youth are not only generations of surfer or children of a fishermen, but are children of the present who will be stewards of the ocean and marine life, thus shall preserve and extinction shall prevent and will pass-on to the succeeding generations. As Micky Galang said: “years ago, when we started our waste analysis, most of garbage came from the reckless disposal of children (plastic of candies, curls and etc.), for they don’t know the etched consequences of polluting the ocean, but now, they already know…for they have better awareness and are actively participating in a clean-up drives and getting involved of activities in protecting the ocean.”