MANGROVE REFORESTATION 2011
The Agriculture Office of Olongapo City has initiated planting four hundred (400) propagules of mangroves to cover 1,000 sq. m. along the channel at Bgy. New Banicain, Olongapo City.
Biology students from Ateneo de Manila University joined the activity which was also participated in by the City Mayor’s Office, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), Maritime Group and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government).
PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel, CENRO (Commission on Environment and Natural Resources Office, CFARMC (City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Parks and Plaza, ESMO, PAO-Public Affairs Office, CPDO (City Planning and Development Office), Fire Fighters, also, Bgy. New Banicain, Military Reservists and ROTC students also supported the activity.
Leonardo Sibaluca, DENR-7 Regional Director in an interview said, “we want to ensure the integrity of our coastal clean-up activities."
“Mangrove is a type of forest growing along tidal mud-flats and along shallow water coastal areas extending inland along rivers, streams and their tributaries where the water is generally salty,” he added.
According to DENR 1995 statistics, conversion to fishponds prawn farms, salt pond, reclamation and other forms of industrial development has reduced the mangrove area to 117,700 hectares.
"Mangroves provide nursery grounds for fish, prawn and crabs, and support fisheries production in coastal waters," said Jhobal Sebarrotin, city agriculturist.
"They also protect the environment and coastal areas and communities from storm surges, waves, tidal currents and typhoons," he added.
The main importance of Mangroves is that it purifies water, reduce air pollution, according to Baby Sebial, DENR representative of Olongapo City and Zambales.
Sibaluca said, “we want to convey the message that mangrove provide shelter for local and migratory wildlife and serve as roosting and forging grounds that is why we really have to protect them.”
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. is encouraging Olongapeños to be active in planting mangrove trees to revive the beauty of nature to attract visitors to come which will boost tourism in the city.
This activity is in line with Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr.’s project HELPS.
“To stabilize the river bank to avoid soil erosion and revive the lovely nature of the city, we should plant and take care and monitor mangrove trees," according to Sebarrotin.