September 25, 2016 News No Comments


Port Dickson, or colloquially known as PD, is a beach town in Northern Negeri Sembilan. Popular for a weekend getaway for those in KL or Singapore, there is no doubt that there are dozens of resorts and condominiums sprawled across the coast. Historically known to produce charcoal and tin, PD is famously known for its oil refineries that make significant contributions to the local economy, such as Shell and Exxon. The bustle of the oil industry as well as the significant amount of patrons that come to enjoy the beach life have an effect on the beach. It is frequently littered with trash, cigarette butts and all sorts of other contributors to pollution. The once serene white sands have turned into a cluttered dirty pit.

The ocean sustains us with the basic elements of life—it produces half of the oxygen in the air we breathe, and it is an essential part of the water cycle, helping to provide the water we drink.

The world’s beaches, the frontier of this essential resource, support ocean health. They provide habitat and nesting grounds for important ocean wildlife like sea turtles and sea birds, and they attract vacationers from around the world, helping to sustain comlex coastal economies. Whether we live on a beach or hundreds of miles from the coastline, we all have a profound stake in an ocean that is healthy and abundant. Ocean trash ranks as one of the most serious pollution problems of our time. Much more than an eyesore, trash in the water and on the shore affects the health of people, wildlife and economies. (“Ocean Conservancy: Clean Beaches, Clean Water”)

Eco Club Malaysia manager Kevin Chan found a desperate need for the beach to be revitalized; for children and adults alike to enjoy a clean beach that was once theirs. The Beach Clean Up Initiative was set for Sunday September 25th, an overcast day in Port Dickson. The sun broke out as 300 eco-enthusiasts travelled to Bagan Pinang Beach, a popular yet polluted shore in PD. Along with a team from Eco Club Malaysia, there were also hundreds of eager secondary school students and members of the public who came to this gotong-royong. The 14-18 year old students were from the five participating schools: SMK Convent Kajang, SMK Perimbun, SMK Abdul Jalil, SMK Jalan 4, and SMK Tasek Kesuma.

The day started off with an opening ceremony which took place at Bagan Pinang Hall at 9am. Officiated by Mr. Rohaizat, the participants were then briefed on the safety procedures by Chuck NG, Head for School of Green Sciences and Engineering. Teamwork and collaboration was an immensely important factor in an efficient beach clean up, so as they were divided into half the teams went away and cleaned their respected areas. One team focused on the northern region of the beach whilst the other focused on the south. The excited participants scoured high and low for all sorts of waste materials such as plastic bottles, cartons, cigarette butts scattered all over the once pristine beach. The beach clean up only took 2 hours as team work was exemplified during this short period of time. Different schools, members of the public, and Eco Club members all came together to bring this beach back to life.

After gathering back in the hall for a reenergizing lunch, participants enjoyed themselves with other activities such as coloring the sand with food colouring and viewing the mini exhibition in the gallery which had a variety of eco products similar to those in the KAGC gallery. While letting the color works of art dry up, participants headed back once more to the gallery and were greeted by Ruben Cortes of Build for Tomorrow. Here he gave a speech on the importance of waste management. He emphasized the importance of awareness and keeping the beaches clean for generations to come. Celebrity actor and chef, Razif Hashim also highlighted the importance of putting words into action, how we may always keep in mind about the environment but dont do enough to put the words into use.

The Beach Clean up was a success, not only did we bring together a community but also rejuvenated a beach for the people and for wildlife. It is important to note that these were done by the efforts of over 300 volunteers, we can all do our part by cleaning up after ourselves and also spreading awareness to stop pollution before this tipping point.

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