The Republic of Boracay vs Algal Bloom
People noticed what appeared to be an ugly sight of green seaweeds along the long-stretched White Beach.
Did it kill its beauty? Was there malice? Was murder committed?
Bloom pleaded not guilty.
Having the presence of these green organisms alienate many tourists. The beach is now seen as uninviting. It is anymore as enticing compared to when it had crystal clear waters. Fewer people are swimming around since nobody wants to dip and touch the slimy greens in the near-shore area; most people only love swimming in turquoise waters.
However, it is important to fully understand why this is happening before putting blame on these green organisms thriving in the shore. The real intention that Bloom resided temporarily and seasonally is to warn us that Boracay has become ‘too rich’, that is nutrient-rich with green algae. It has accumulated a wealth of waste nutrients making the waters look dirty and polluted in the eyes of many beach-goers.
It is a noteworthy fact that these aquatic green algae play a significant role in the marine ecosystem. Being at the bottom of the food pyramid, they provide a source of food, energy, and shelter for zooplanktons and tiny fishes.
Another key function they play deals with their ability to absorb waste nutrients and heavy metals such as ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate which can be traced from inadequately treated sewage—a result of human interference.
Green algae are actually doing us good by taking up toxic elements from the aquatic environment, rendering them less harmful.
Don’t let appearances fool you. You have to uncover the real intention. There was no evil intent, hence no murder was committed.
Not Seaweeds, but Algal Bloom alias Green Algae.
There are no grounds to declare Bloom as persona non grata. It is only a case of mistaken identity.
What was under scrutiny are not seaweeds, seagrasses or green moss, but green algae—which are organisms that are neither a plant, animal or fungi.
Green algae belong to Kingdom Plantae, however they are structurally different to be considered as real plants because they lack true roots, stems or leaves.
They also do not fall under the classification of animals because they are not multicellular and not held by a specific protein called collagen that is found exclusively in animal tissues.
Instead, green algae are made only of a single cell, so they are biologically classified as protists or unicellular organisms. They may look like plants and has been commonly mistaken as seagrasses or seaweeds, but that is because they are able to photosynthesize, a key characteristic of plants—they have highly diverse chloroplasts which give its green color.
Nature works in mysterious ways. White Beach filed for a short vacation to be with Bloom.
Dismissed due to insufficient grounds.
Beach filed another petition for emergency leave.
Petition granted. It is a right, not a privilege. Beach has health issues due to ecological reasons.
So who is the real murderer? Judge well..
It is still beautiful and sometimes mysterious. 🙂
Here is the real story:
Boracay is now rich with waste nutrients causing greenish discoloration of the waters near the shoreline. This is due to climate change. Global warming triggers ocean acidification making the environment adequate for green algae to thrive and proliferate.
In this case, green algae including sea grasses, diatoms and soft corals were declared as ‘winners’. While the ‘losers’ were shells, oysters, scallops, sea urchins, sea stars and reef building corals and ‘maybe’ the fishes, shrimps and crabs said Yoshihisa Shirayama, the Executive Director for Research of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology who presented their research studies.
Algal blooms in Boracay occur during the months of February to June covering the summer days when it is overcrowded. This is only seasonal and the beauty of its world-renowned white beach with turquoise waters will be back by September.
On another story, Bulabog Beach which is mostly for water sports like kite surfing, but not for leisure swimming, was reported to be with above normal concentration of coliform bacteria (e. coli). The mushrooming of hotels and establishments with poor sewage disposal system in the area caused the high presence of this harmful bacteria. However, the rest of Boracay is still safe for swimming.
Due to this alarming phenomenon, DENR is conducting an inventory of resorts and other establishments to check waste water management compliance.
Let us sign the petition to reduce our carbon footprint. Take action.
Source: DENR Website