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Report: Philippines Oil Slick Spares 4,700 Acres of Corals

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GUIMARAS, Philippines -- More than 47,000 hectares of hard coral in the coastal areas of southern Guimaras were found to have been spared from destruction by the oil spill, according to a team of scientists from Silliman University.

Doctor Angel Alcala, director of the Silliman University Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management (SUACKREM), revealed what could be the only piece of good news about the oil spill, in an interview with the Inquirer.

“It must have been high tide when the oil reached the shore,” Alcala surmised, noting that no trace of the oil spill has been found on the corals near the shoreline.

Alcala, former environment secretary and an acknowledged authority on coral reefs, led the scientists in the weeklong expedition during the last week of August after Petron Corporation sought the university’s help in evaluating the damage and mapping out a comprehensive rehabilitation plan.

The scientists conducted coastal and underwater surveys in 15 randomly chosen points in the affected areas, particularly in the islands of Unisan, Malinging and the Taclong Island National Park, which was declared a marine protected area in 1990.

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