DENR creates oil spill booms from organic materials to save marine ecosystems


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with concerned government agencies and stakeholders, installed spill booms made from locally available organic material to restrict the oil leaked by sunken MT Princess Empress from afflicting surrounding marine protected areas.

According to the DENR, booms are temporary floating barriers used to contain marine spills, protect sensitive wetlands, and assist in recovery.

The University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI) projected that the oil spill could reach northern Palawan mainland and threaten over 36,000 hectares of marine habitats.

“The use of improvised spill booms is a feasible precautionary measure to prevent damage to marine environments. These booms are made from indigenous materials which are readily accessible to the immediate communities,” said the DENR.

The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) MIMAROPA, together with the PCG and LGU, installed provisional spill booms made of cogon and sawali in Casiligan River and Calimawawa River in Oriental Mindoro province to prevent the oil spill from reaching the mangrove forests, coral reefs, and other marine life.

Coconut shingles, which have effective adsorption capacities, are also vital materials in fabricating spill booms. These are used with nets in Brgy. Misong, Pola, and rice straws in Brgy. Aplaya in Poblacion and Brgy. Anilao in Bongabong.

Coastal municipalities not affected by the oil spill have started fabricating and deploying spill booms two kilometers away from their shorelines as a precaution against the spill.

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