𝐏𝐂𝐒𝐃𝐒 𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐃 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐖𝐈𝐏𝐄 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜+ 𝐅𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐳𝐨𝐧, 𝐏𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐧: 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬

by | Apr 8, 2024

PCSDS EMED Staff conducted field assessment as part of the Project WIPE Plastic+ in Quezon, Palawan on 1-5 April 2024. This project aims to assess and provide baseline data on macroplastics and beach profile, and updated information on coral reef condition and water quality in key biodiversity areas and protected areas in Palawan. The activities were supported by the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Quezon led by MENRO Esperanza B. Caabay. The PCSD staff along with LGU – MENRO & MAO staff assessed coral reefs in six (6) sites, while ten (10) sites were established for assessment of in-situ water quality, beach profiling, and macroplastic/marine pollution.

Reef assessment was conducted using ReefScan, a modular suite of automated marine monitoring system from Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), in Sidanao Island (Nakoda), Tawa-tawa Island (Front of Tabon Cave), Tataran Island (Baja Llanura), Nasirik Island, Tamlangon Island (Patelan), and Double Island (Tide pool). Initial results indicated overall good reef conditions, and the presence of a seaturtle was observed at Double Island. In-situ water quality monitoring was conducted along the areas of coral reef monitoring to assess the status of water quality affecting the coral reef ecosystems.

Utilizing a combined approach from CSIRO and UP MSI, the monitoring team assessed macroplastic and marine pollution. Ten monitoring sites were established comprising of five island sites (Sidanao back, Sidanao front, Nasirik Island, Tamlangon Island, and Double Island) and five mainland sites adjacent to Malanut Bay, including Tawa-tawa Bay, Alfonso XIII Bayside, Barangay Tabon Site 1, Barangay Tabon Site 2, and Lasyap Beach. Notably, the majority of collected debris consisted of fishing lines, food wrappers, plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and domestic waste such as detergent sachets and diapers.