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Live coral cover in parts of Manila Bay gives hope for restoration

live coral cover in parts of manila bay gives hope for restoration - Live coral cover in parts of Manila Bay gives hope for restoration
Coral - Live coral cover in parts of Manila Bay gives hope for restoration
A BRANCHING colony of Seriatopora sp. seen in Maragondon, Cavite. — ERDB.DENR.GOV.PH

LIVE CORAL cover found within the waters of Manila Bay buoyed hopes that the heavily polluted waters could still be restored to its pristine condition, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced Monday. In a statement, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who heads the inter-agency Manila Bay Task Force, said recent findings that coral reefs are still thriving in many parts of the bay give government more reason to proceed with the rehabilitation. “With the vibrant underwater life still teeming in several areas in Manila Bay, there is hope that we can still revive it to what it used to be,” Cimatu said. The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the DENR’s research arm, recently conducted an inventory of the coral ecosystems within the bay and found out that many of them are thriving despite environmental and human pressures. Jose Isidro Michael Padin, ERDB supervising science research specialist, said majority of the coral cover is found in Corregidor and Caballo Islands off Cavite province. “Nearly 72% of the estimated reef area is found in Cavite. The reef sites in Maragondon and few stations in Corregidor and Caballo Islands had fair to good live coral cover,” Mr. Padin said. ERDB Director Sofio B. Quintana said the bureau is conducting “ridge-to-reef” research on Manila Bay to establish “a definite connection among risk factors. Right now, we are trying to gather more data on informal settler families, air and water quality, and habitat to make scientific studies relevant for future projects.”

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