Off the coast of Port Barton lies Boayan Island, the largest island in the municipality of San Vicente, Palawan. This ecologically diverse area is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the Philippines, which, in turn, contributes nearly nine percent of the world’s total reef area. Boayan Island is currently anticipating its declaration as a Marine Protected Area, where it joins the likes of the famed Apo and Tubbataha Reefs.
It is here on Boayan Island where Palawan Cove Corporation, a subsidiary of Discovery World Corporation, manages a pre-development property that has the potential to be an emerging diving and snorkeling destination in the region. The company is currently laying the groundwork to ensure the sustainable development of the property. It is involved in reef rehabilitation efforts on the island’s Daplac Cove. It also maintains a coral nursery, growing corals to be distributed to parts of the reef that have suffered from past damage.
Since starting its efforts in rejuvenating the reef in 2011, Palawan Cove Corporation reports that over 80,000 coral fragments have been planted, comprising some 15 species of coral. Dozens of underwater structures, including 72 rubble stabilizing flat structures, 45 dome tables, and 33 artificial wreck structures, have been built on the cove’s sandy bottom for the reef to grow upon. On the island, some 10,000 slips of vetiver grass have been planted and a catchment pond dug up, to arrest siltation from the island into the sea. This combined effort has resulted in a fish biomass increase of a hundredfold!
Boayan Island is also home to a wide array of flora, including the white mangrove, a flowering and fruit bearing tree normally found in West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Galapagos Islands. The company hopes to preserve and propagate the white mangroves in the area as they only add to the area’s rich biodiversity.
It is these efforts that Palawan Cove Corporation hopes to be the foundation for its future.