Coastal Risk Reduction: 65 Mangroves Restored at Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel, La Union

9 January 2018, Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel, Urbiziondo, San Juan, La Union.

The urgent request for technical support came from Flotsam and Jetsam’s (F&J) co-founders and co-owners, Mia Sebastian-Gamboa and Joncy Sumulong, after the passing of Severe Tropical Storm “Gorio” and the enhanced “habagat” (southwest monsoon), when several schools, government offices and businesses had to shut down due to  heavy upland and coastal flooding and extensive property damage.

LINKFollowing the approval of the Site Planting Plan delivered by FEED to F&J, the first planting of 65 one year-old Philippine indigenous mangrove species, bakauang bato, were planted along the perimeter of the resort – carried out by the local environmental volunteer group Lupon ng mag Indibidwal na Nangangalaga sa Kalikasan (LINK), led by Celso Jucutan, also a FEED Ambassador.

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Role of Mangroves in Coastal Risk Reduction

The absence of mangrove walls result in large-scale coastal erosion, threatening populations and their economic activities.  The first layer of these mangroves planted at F&J will form the exterior wall of a 3-4 layered planting of a variety of mangrove species, intended for coastal defence and disaster risk reduction:

  • Wind and swell waves are rapidly reduced as they pass through mangroves, lessening wave damage during storms.
  • Wide mangrove belts, ideally thousands of meters across, can be effective in reducing the flooding impacts of storm surges occurring during major storms (also called cyclones, typhoons or hurricanes). This can significantly reduce flood extent in low lying areas. Narrower mangrove belts, hundreds of meters wide, will still be able to reduce wind speed, the impact of waves on top of the surge and coding impact to some degree.
  • Wide areas of mangroves can reduce tsunami heights, helping to reduce loss of life and damage to property in areas behind mangroves.
  • The dense roots of mangroves help to bind and build soils. The above-ground roots slow down water flows, encourage deposition of sediments and reduce erosion.
  • Over time mangroves can actively build up soils, increasing the thickness of the mangrove soil, which may be critical as sea level rise accelerates.
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Role of Mangroves in Coastal Risk Reduction (Source: https://www.nature.org/media/oceansandcoasts/mangroves-for-coastal-defence.pdf)

The first ever Biophysical & Bioclimatic Characterisation of Mangrove Sites in La Union using Geographical Information System (GIS) served as a guide. It was the thesis report produced last June 2017 by FEED’s first scholar at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial University (DMMMSU) in Bacnotan, La Union Province, 20 year old Renalyn M. Canillo, from Barangay San Francisco, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines.

FEED is very grateful to Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel for initiating the planting of these mangroves as part of La Union’s holistic efforts towards disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Inspired by the “Great Wall of Mangroves” conceived by Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad, of Bulacan Province, FEED aims to continue to plant indigenous Philippine mangrove and other saline proof species, such as Botong and Bitaog trees, stretching from Manila Bay all along the Philippines’ Western shorelines as part of our coastal defense plantings with the community.

Flotsam’s Scholarship Donation for First Aquaponics Tomato Study at DMMMSU – Thank you!

This planting sponsored by F&J also contributed PHP5000 as part of the PHP scholarship award granted to FEED’s second scholar at the DMMMSU, Sunshine C. Gaerlan, an undergraduate student taking up her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering conducting her thesis in “Tomato Production under Aquaponic Systems Using Different Substrates”, to be completed by end-April 2018, results of which will be shared on FEED’s website.

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12 March 2018, DMMMSU Bacnotan, North Campus, La Union. FEED’s second scholar at DMMMSU, Sunshine C. Garland, receiving her PHP30,000 scholarship award for “Tomato Production under Aquaponic Systems Using Different Substrates”.

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Contact FEED

FEED runs a number of SAVE; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Mangrove Planting for coastal protection; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG); and other environmentally engaging activities for individuals and organizations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.

Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how the SAVE plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg

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Contact us at FEED for more details, to join our regular activities or to customise your own green solutions: info@feed.org.ph or call/text +63 (0)917 552 4722.

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