DENR: Protect coastal waters, rich marine resources of Central Luzon

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged the public to protect the coastal waters and rich marine resources of Central Luzon from degradation.

In line with the celebration of the Month of the Ocean (MOO) this May, DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno Jr. stressed that conserving the healthy state of coastal areas and sustaining their abundant marine resources would be more achievable if local communities would partake in the mission to keep the water bodies clean. 

“Our collective effort can achieve more to protect and save our marine resources. Marine ecosystems are home to diverse and unique biodiversity, and serve as important source of food and livelihood to coastal communities,” he said. 

DENR records show that Central Luzon has a total coastal length of 630 kilometers. The region is also the third largest aquaculture producer in the Philippines.

Five of the seven species of marine turtles are breeding and nesting in the coastal waters of Bataan, Zambales and Aurora, while species of giant clams, mesophotic coral species, large fishes such as the blue-spotted rabbitfish, and mangroves can also be found in the rich waters of Zambales.

Coastal areas of Bulacan and Pampanga are also home to mangrove forests.

Moreno appealed to the public to protect marine life and important water bodies in the region by using fewer plastic products, recycling, disposing trash properly, and participating in mangrove planting and cleanup activities organized by DENR, local government units and other organizations.

“These are actions we can do that will make a big difference for our water bodies. They may seem little, but when done collectively, they will create a significant impact in protecting our rivers, seas and oceans,” he said. 

As part of the MOO celebration this year, DENR will hold small scale mangrove planting and cleanup activities through its provincial and community offices. 

Massive social media campaign and online biodiversity quiz competition will also be conducted to engage the public especially the youth in the protection and conservation of marine resources.

The agency has likewise scheduled a learning event on Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring System for its technical personnel in the regional and field offices. 

MOO is celebrated annually by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999 to raise public awareness on the protection of marine waters from degradation. 

This year’s observance is anchored on the theme “The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want”. 

Inspired by the United Nation’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, it centers on recognizing the role of science as well as the contributions of recognized scientists in the protection and conservation of the ocean and other water bodies. 

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