ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu has expressed high hopes that Manila Bay can still be brought back to its pristine condition with the discovery of several live corals.
“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.
Ecosystem researchers have spotted coral reefs still thriving in many parts of the bay giving government more reason to proceed with the ambitious rehabilitation mission.
In a recent inventory of the coral ecosystems within Manila Bay, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) found that many corals are still thriving despite environmental and human pressures.
ERDB supervising science research specialist Jose Isidro Michael Padin said majority of the coral cover were found in Corregidor and Caballo Islands in Cavite province. Nearly 72 percent of the estimated reef area was found in Cavite. The reef sites in Maragondon and few stations in Corregidor and Caballo Islands had fair to good live coral cover.
However, Padin said these reefs are continually threatened by sedimentation, nutrient contamination, reduced water clarity, and high fishing pressure due to increased vulnerability harboring the bay.
Runoff sediments and nutrients had been documented to cause coral mortality, but the reef areas remaining at the historic bay are located proximate “at its mouth.”
Meanwhile, ERDB Director Sofio Quintana said the bureau is conducting “ridge-to-reef” research on Manila Bay.