ILOILO CITY, March 6 - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has identified the town of Tangalan and Boracay island in Aklan province as pilot areas for the coral restoration project.
DOST Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said that DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo personally visited the areas last week in order to see the suitability of the project.
Gelonga said that through the coral restoration project, coral fragments or substrates will be collected and replanted in Tangalan that will serve as nursery. Scientists have discovered that the degraded corals could be replanted and naturally grown, the DOST regional director contended.
He said that Boracay island in Malay, Aklan, which is considered as the premier tourism destination in the country, however has degraded coral reef now that direly needs to be restored. Thus, some of the naturally grown coral domes in Tangalan nursery will be regenerated in Boracay.
The multi-million coral restoration project will be mainly funded by Sen. Loren Legarda using the DOST technology and implemented by the local government units in Aklan.
Gelonga said the coral restoration project will do away with the current practice of artificial coral reefs and have significant impact in increasing the breeding places of marine resources.
Tourists in Boracay will not only enjoy the beach but also the eco-tourism sites such as the restored coral reefs, Gelonga contended.
He added the project will prevent sand and soil erosion in the beach area.
The coral restoration project will also be introduced in Batangas, Bohol and Leyte.
In preparation for the project, the people in Aklan are now beginning to gather coral fragments or substrates in their areas to be used as planting materials. (PNA)