Verdant seagrass beds, healthy corals thrive in two Aklan towns

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Right photo shows Ecosystem Management Specialist 1 (EMS 1) Cecile D. Poblador grab a sample of the many species of seagrass found in the coastal areas of Buruanga, Aklan while left photos show the diverse marine species of Batan and Buruanga, Aklan.

RICH marine life and ecosystem were spotted in the towns of Batan and Buruanga in the Province of Aklan during the conduct of the coral reefs and sea grass beds assessment and mapping of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO) Aklan team, just recently.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) device and underwater camera, the team was able to map out and document coral areas and sea grass beds, in the said towns.

About four (4) species of sea grass and few live coral species were mapped out in the coastal waters of Barangays Ipil, Mambuquiao, Mandong, Napti and Songcolan in Batan while six (6) species of sea grass thriving in patches of beds were found in Barangays Baybay, Bil-is, Panilongan, Santander and Tuburan in Buruanga, along with various species of marine creatures such as starfish, sea cucumber and massive types of corals.

The data gathered by DENR-PENRO Aklan will be used to generate maps to identify the areas where corals and sea grasses grow and vegetate. The generated maps in identified coastal areas will help us monitor and protect our marine ecosystems.

Seagrass beds are vital part of our marine ecosystem. It serves as breeding grounds and also a source of food for herbivorous grazers like turtles and sea cow or dugong. Corals on the other hand, are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, housing tens of thousands of marine species.

In celebration of the Month of the Ocean with the theme: “TaYo at ang Karagatan,” and of the upcoming Environment Month with the theme: “Connecting People to Nature,” one of DENR’s thrust is to raise awareness on the importance of our marine ecosystems and of keeping our oceans, seas and rivers clean.

“We are all part of the web of life. Polluting our oceans, seas and rivers contributes to the degradation of our marine resources. In doing so, we lose our source of food and threaten ecological balance. We need to be responsible and work on protecting our environment. Let us keep our air and bodies of water clean. A healthy environment means a good health for us all,” said Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.



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