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Padre Burgos reefs to be restored


MANILA – The Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have agreed to implement a one-year pilot project which aims to rehabilitate a stretch of coral reefs in Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte.

The project site which is within Sogod Bay will receive P5-million out of the recently approved P35.35 million funding for nine coral reef rehabilitation projects in the country.

According to DOST Regional Director Edgardo Esperancilla they signed an agreement with SLSU which will be their partner in undertaking this demonstration project. "We chose the one hectare area in Padre Burgos because there are badly damaged coral reefs there. And there are also dive resorts nearby whose owners are willing to sustain the project.

DOST wants the project completed by March 2013. "To make sure that corals will grow, we need the help of the private sector to maintain it especially with the onslaught of the crown of thorns starfish which have infested the area" he said. These starfish release digestive enzymes and then eat the coral polyp leaving only coral skeleton.

The DOST said coral reefs in Southern Leyte are also damaged by sewage, industrial wastes and agricultural chemicals from farm lands that flow into the sea. Dynamite and cyanide fishing also also destroying Sogod Bay's coral reefs.

Director Esperancilla said coral reforestation demonstration projects will also be implemented in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Zambales, Batangas, Masbate, Aklan, Bohol and Tawi-Tawi. (Source: SLSU-SOGOD)





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