May is not only the month of fiestas in Bohol but also a month of the ocean with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheading the month long celebration with the theme “Biodiversity for Food Security”.
Launched on Monday, May 16, 2016, “Ocean Month” as declared by President Joseph Estrada through Presidential Proclamation No. 57 on January 9, 1996 is in consonance with the United Nations (UN) declaring 1998 as the “International Year of the Ocean”.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Nestor Canda told DYRD Balita that three activities will highlight the conservation, protection and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources.
Part of the ocean month program is the technical assessment on marine pollution in the coastal areas to determine the presence of solid or liquid pollutants.
These pollutants include human and animal wastes, oil, chemicals and other biological wastes that are affecting the quality of the coastal and ocean seas.
Activities will also focus on the condition of sea grasses considered a vital part of the marine ecosystem that provides food, habitat and nursery to different marine species.
The massive planting of mangroves will also form part of the activities of ocean month to focus on the ecological value of mangroves.
Banacon Island Mangrove Forest, an eco-tourist destination located in Getafe, Bohol considered the biggest mangrove plantation in the country will serve as the rallying point in the continuing campaign to plant more mangroves.
Ocean Month will also highlight Bohol’s vast coastal and ocean resources now threatened with the ever growing mass tourism program of the government. (Chito M. Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)