Ocean acidiification can trigger algal bloom

THE ALLURING BEAUTY OF BORACAY. Local and foreign tourists frolic in the white sands of the famous Boracay beach while others could not resist but to swim in the waters unmindful of the presence of the green-algae that abounds from end to end. The water along the long beach remains safe for swimming based on the result of water sampling conducted by the DENR-EMB. As observed, the green algae occurs during the months of February to June and will eventually disappear starting the month of September bringing back to its natural beauty of being the best tropical white beach in the world.


Global warming has a significant impact on our marine ecosystem. The continued rise of carbon dioxide presence in the atmosphere triggers ocean acidification which augments the growth of diatoms and algae. 

Yoshihisa Shirayama, Executive Director for Research of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology made the presentation during the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Meeting at the Crown Regency Hotel and Convention Center on May 9.

Boracay Island is hosting several high-profile meetings from May 9 to 24. The series of meetings include topics concerning tourism, environment, and marine and coastal protection, among others.

In his report, Shirayama shared that high carbon dioxide presence in the atmosphere resulted to ocean acidification hugely affecting marine ecosystem – one of which is the occurrence of algae in shores.

The algal bloom in Boracay Island can be attributed to this phenomenon, though it could not be discounted that it may have triggered by poor waste management from resorts, other business establishments and residents in the island.

According to Shirayama, those directly affected (which he referred to as “losers”) are shells, snails, abalones, clams, oysters, scallops, sea urchins, sea stars, brittle stars, calcareous phytoplankton, and reef building corals. The report added that the “maybe losers” are fishes, shrimps, and crabs; and, the “winners” are algae, sea grasses, diatoms and soft corals.

Prior to this, Sampulna had already instructed all field offices in the region with coastal areas to immediately report presence of green algae, if there are any, considering that this is a global phenomenon.

Green algae are also observed in other areas in the region, he said.

Earlier, DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje has ordered to conduct an inventory of resorts and other commercial establishments to check on their compliance to the environmental rules and laws, particularly on waste water management.

Resort owners, business operators and residents in the island, however, maintained that the algal bloom in the famous white beach is seasonal and a natural occurrence during the summer season mainly during the months of February to June, and eventually disappear starting September.

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DENR 6 ready for ICC 2019

Every 3rd Saturday of September, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) participates in the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health, in order to get rid of trash, provide information and raise environmental awareness.

With this year’s theme: “Battle for Litter-Free Seas”, the ICC will be conducted on the 5-kilometer coastal stretch from Brgy. Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo to Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City, which aims to clear the coastline from non-biodegradable litters.

As an expected output of ICC 2018, stakeholders had a better appreciation of the importance of dedicating efforts to have a trash free-seas, coasts, and other significant water bodies. In addition, 5-kilometer, a 16-kilometer stretch of 24 coastal barangays will be cleaned up with the coordination of the city government, covering all coastal barangays in the city. Thus, a total of 21-kilometers are up for coastal cleanup on September 21, 2019.

Furthermore, the DENR 6 chief encourages more volunteers to participate in this yearly event in saving our oceans.

This International Coastal Clean-up and other cleanup activities only show us the pressing need to properly manage our wastes and not allow it to end up polluting our coastal and marine waters. We are looking forward to a stronger participation and involvement from the stakeholders to implement the proper solid waste management at the household level,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. said.

“The battle for litter-free seas will never end. This will continue until we all manage our trash, until we see no more trash in our coastal areas and seas,” he added.

Last year, a total of four hundred ninety seven (497) trash bags with an estimated of 3,496.3 kilograms were collected by the 1,242 volunteers during the cleanup along the 5-kilometer coastline stretch from Arevalo District to Molo District. Among the top ten collected garbage were: 1. Food wrappers (7,047); 2. Plastic grocery bags (3,858); 3. Other plastic/foam packaging (3,733); 4. Tiny Plastic Pieces  (3,357); 5. Other Plastic Bags (3,101); 6. Straws/Stirrers (2,982); 7. Shoes/Slippers (2,723); 8. Tiny Foam pieces (2,170); 9. Cigarette Butts (2,097); and 10. Take out containers (1910).

Efforts to clean-up the oceans are in line with DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s thrust to promote clean water and strengthen compliance to the provisions outlined in the Clean Water Act.

            Other interested parties who wished to join this international event as volunteers could visit DENR Western Visayas facebook page, and leave a message or may opt to call DENR 6-CDD Tel. no. 5034687 or 09465647013.


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