Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project (SLCRCP) SLRCP Project Aim. Latest News. Monthly Project Update. May 2014

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1 Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project (SLCRCP) Monthly Project Update May 2014 Location: Napantao Dive Resort, Napantao, San Francisco, Southern Leyte Project Scientist: Laura Foley SLRCP Project Aim The Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project (SLCRCP) is a collaborative project to protect the coral reefs of Sogod Bay. The programme provides training and conservation education opportunities for local Filipinos, as part of an integrated programme to develop local capacity and ensure the long-term protection and sustainable use of marine resources throughout the region. Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) is working at the invitation of and in partnership with the Provincial Government of Southern Leyte and the Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc (PRRCFI). Coral Cay Conservation provides the resources to help sustain livelihoods and alleviate poverty through the protection, restoration and management of coral reefs and tropical forests. Contents Latest news Story of the Month Educational & Community Projects Survey Update Marine Scholarship News Marine Creature of the month Latest News CCC holds Awareness Day for Cagbungalon! This month Coral Cay Conservation completed our assessment of the proposed MPA site at Barangay Cagbungalon in the Municipality of Liloan. The reefs at Cagbungalon were beautiful and CCC staff and volunteers loved surveying the area. After surveys were completed, the data was compiled and statistics were run. We determined that the reefs at Cagbungalon are in good health and that the area may be suitable as a Marine Protected Area! The creation of an MPA in Cagbunglon could help increase the fish populations here and ensure healthy reefs for generations to come! Children of Barangay Cagbungalon getting a first-hand experience of their reef!

2 On Saturday May 31 st CCC Project Scientist Laura Foley and Education Officer Liz Scheimer presented coral reef lectures and our scientific survey results to the Barangay Council and community of Cagbungalon. CCC was welcomed with open arms and Barangay Cagbungalon, in partnership with the Municipal Agricultural Office of Lilo-an, were supportive and excited about the prospect of establishing a new MPA in their area! Many fun and educational activities followed the presentation. Children of the community were invited to play a game which uses sweets to convey the idea of replenishing fish stocks within the MPA. A snorkel on the local reef completed the afternoon and was a first for many! Liloan s Municiple Agriculturalist Sir Terrance Dipay and CCC Project Scientist Laura Foley present the data for the proposed MPA (left). The children of Barangay Cagbungalon enjoying a snorkel on their local reef (right) Story of the Month CCC welcomes new staff Coral Cay Conservation is thrilled to introduce our new Education Officer Liz Scheimer and our new Scuba Instructor Karl Leggett. Liz studied at Stanford University, completing a BS in Science, Technology and Society and a MS in Earth Systems and joins us after serving 7 years as an Officer in the US Navy. Chasing submarines gave her perspective into the complex reality of balancing the needs of various stakeholders to meet the goals of conservation and sustainable use of the oceans. She has field research experience in Australia, Vanuatu and Monterey and has worked in marine education as a Beach Naturalist at Deception Pass Park in Washington State. New CCC Scuba Instructor Karl Legget (left) and Education Officer Liz Scheimer (right) are thrilled to be joining CCC in the Philippines!

3 Our Scuba Instructor Karl comes to us from England where he spent over thirteen years in the Royal Engineers. Karl has a passion for flying and has experienced a plethora of exhilarating and challenging experiences, including parachuting from a C130 at night, solo skydiving and solo helicopter flights. After working in IT for ten years, Karl made a career switch to diving and hasn t looked back since! He holds several different dive qualifications, including PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer, SSI Advanced Instructor and ASSET Dive Technician. Karl s now more actively getting involved in marine conservation and feels everybody can make a difference. Education and Community Projects Coral Cay participates in Pintuyan Layang Festival (Festival of Sailing) As part of the Barangay Catbawan s anniversary celebrations, CCC presented their Fred s Annabelle Puppet Show on May 22 at the Pintuyan Festival of Sailing. To initiate the celebration, CCC marched with their puppets alongside community musicians, dancers and actors. The puppet show soon followed and had a large turnout! Fred s Annabelle is a relatively new puppet show written by CCC s own Jesse Tinapay, and reflects on current issues in Sogod Bay. It is the story of Annabelle, the anemone damselfish; daughter of our wellknown and beloved Fred the Fish, and her adventures outside the MPA as she learns about threats to the reef and makes new friends. After the puppet show there were impressive performances by several dance troupes that told stories of the ocean and the community. CCC staff and volunteers enjoyed their day of fun in the sun and were honoured to take part in cultural celebrations with Barangay Catbawan! CCC staff and volunteers marching with puppets in hand in the Pintuyan Layang Festival parade (left) and CCC Education Officer Liz Scheimer narrating Fred s Annabelle (right).

4 Survey Update Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project Survey background: Since January 2013, survey efforts have been focused on assessing Marine Protected Areas in Sogod Bay, in order to provide management recommendations. To do this we use an expanded version of the Reef Check survey protocol, which has been customized by CCC to perfectly fit our work in Sogod Bay. Prior to this a baseline appraisal of marine resources in Sogod Bay was carried out. If you would like more information about our surveying please contact our Project Scientist, Laura Foley has been a busy and productive year for Coral Cay so far! We are currently assessing Barangay Molopolo in The stunning reefs of Barangay Cagbungalon were Lilo-an, to determine if the area is suitable for the a pleasure for CCC staff and volunteers to survey! creation of marine protected areas and recently completed our assessment of the proposed MPA site in Barangay Cagbungalon, also in Liloan. We are also in the process of finishing the data analysis and write-up for the Liloan MPA in Barangay Tabugon. Our keen volunteers and scholars have been excelling through their science training and will soon be contributing to the survey team. Scientific reports from all of CCC s sites around the world are available on our website at Marine Scholarship News Each month CCC offers Filipino nationals who display an ambition to study and protect the vital marine ecosystems of the Philippines an opportunity to take part in our Marine Conservation Scholarship. The programme lasts for one month and involves training the student in SCUBA diving to the level of PADI Advanced Open Water. They then take part in an intensive Skills Development Programme giving them the knowledge and expertise to conduct sub-marine surveys of the coastline. Scholars Stephen Larry Bañes (left) and Jollibee Looc (right) gearing up for a dive.

5 Porferio Timblaco showing off his puppet in the Pintuyan Layang Festival Parade(left) and Juan Antonio E. Arcilla smiling big for his newly earned PADI Advanced SCUBA Diver certification card (right). This month we are proud to introduce our four scholars; Porferio Timblaco, Juan Antonio E. Arcilla, Stephen Larry Bañes, and Jollibee Looc. Porferio (JanJan), Jollibee, and Stephen are all recent graduates of the Marine Biology program at Southern Leyte State University Bontoc. The recent SLSU graduates join us to further develop their expertise as marine biologists through dive training and scientific survey experience. As marine biologists, they plan on using their newly acquired skills to preserve the reefs of the Philippines and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. Juan Antonio E. Arcilla joins us from Manila where he currently works for the government as an attorney at law. Juan is thinking of going into environmental law and believes that his time with Coral Cay will provide him with first-hand experience of the valuable resources that the Philippines have to offer. I am a resident of the Philippines, and while I know that my country has one of the most diverse coral reefs in the world, I never gave it much thought, or derived any pride from such fact until now. Experiencing this firsthand through Coral Cay has made me aware of our real role as observers and stewards of our natural resources. Juan Antonio E. Arcilla, CCC Scholar If you would like to apply for the CCC Marine Conservation Scholarship programme or read more about it, please visit:

6 Marine Creature of the Month! We are excited to announce the Banded Coral Shrimp as this month s featured creature! Banded Coral Shrimp, scientifically known as Stenopus hispidus, are cleaner shrimp found locally as well as in South Africa, the Red Sea, Malaysia, Hawaii, and Caribbean. These shrimp wait in crevices or out in the open at cleaning stations, and wave their large white antennae to attract fish. Once a fish approaches, the shrimp rubs them with its antennae until the fish becomes still and quiet. The shrimp then move about the fish s body looking for and removing parasites. In this way they play an important role in the marine ecosystem by removing harmful parasites and keeping reef creatures healthy. Coral Banded Shrimp are popular in home aquariums and a joy for divers to see! Learn More! To learn more about the CCC Philippines project, to join the expedition, or to find out about local marine Scholarships, visit

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