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Guimaras will take ‘decades’ to rehabilitate–Greenpeace

September 2, 2006

GREENPEACE vessel, M.V. Esperanza, is in Cebu for its last stop before it will leave the country as part of its “Defending our Oceans” expedition.

Before coming to Cebu, the vessel visited Guimaras and helped the Philippine Coast Guard and other organizations in cleaning the island-province and other parts of the Visayas that were affected by the oil slick brought about by the sinking of MV Solar I in the seawaters off Guimaras.

Scientists onboard Esperanza claimed their early response to the oil spill in Guimaras has been crucial in helping focus the world’s attention on the massive environmental catastrophe.

Janet Cotter, of the science unit of Greenpeace, said that the oil spill has done a lot of damage to Guimaras’ marine resources that would take decades to rehabilitate.

She said that aside from helping in the cleanup, they also do information and fund raising campaign to help the affected residents and for the immediate cleanup of the affected areas. The group, she said, is focused on preserving marine reserves like the Taclong Marine Reserve.

Aside from Taclong, Cotter said that three other marine reserves in Guimaras were affected, adding that coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves are covered by slick.

(For the full story, click Freeman, Sept. 2, 2006.)

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