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Mangroves an essential part of Hamilo Coast’s sustainable roadmap

Hamilo Coast’s mangrove forest—the heartland of this premier sustainable seaside community where reforestation efforts continue to safeguard one of its most vital ecosystems.

THE importance of mangroves was highlighted when Supertyphoon Yolanda pummeled the country. Experts observed that the impact of Yolanda’s storm surge would have been minimal if the mangroves near Leyte’s shoreline were not destroyed.

“Mangroves are among the most important ecosystems on the planet. They provide food and protection for a huge variety of marine and land-based species, sustain livelihoods of coastal populations, and provide protection from ocean swell and extreme weather events,” according to author Sriyanie Miththapala in her book Coastal Ecosystems Series (Volume 2) published by Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group Asia, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

One of nature’s essential habitats at Hamilo Coast is a 10-hectare mangrove forest, the largest of its kind in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Realizing the importance of sustainability in their development projects,  Hamilo Coast has made its 10-hectare mangrove forest an important if not the most important part of the master-planned seaside residential community in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is developed and managed by Costa del Hamilo Inc., a subsidiary of SM Prime.    

Hamilo Coast formed a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines) to preserve over 10,000 mangrove trees in this rich coastal paradise that has formed a harmony with the tides.

Costa del Hamilo cited the vital role of mangroves in preserving and protecting the ecosystem of Hamilo Coast. “Mangrove trees play an essential part in nurturing the very ground they stand on. Mangrove roots filter the silt and sediment that tides carry in and rivers carry out towards the sea. They lodge themselves in the soft soil of tidal mudflats while holding it in place to stabilize the shoreline against erosion, storm surges and hurricanes,” it said in a press statement.

Hamilo Coast made the right decision on planting mangrove trees. Conservationists pointed out that mangrove preservation is a sound investment due to its high adaptive capacity to climate change. 

Moreover, mangroves act as protectors of massive diversity of fish and underwater creatures. These habitat-forming species take refuge in this protective nursery where they often thrive at the interface of open water and the terrestrial environment.

Protecting Mother Nature

The management of Hamilo Coast said touring the ecosystem becomes a valuable learning experience as Hamilo Coast’s mangrove forest becomes an enlightening on-site adventure. The tour starts with a short 200-meter trek through the forest. Along the path are posters that explain the crucial role of mangrove trees in reforestation. After the tour, guests are taken on a canoe ride through the reforested area. To ensure that everyone’s life vest is secured, tour guides will share the inspiring story of how the once empty and gray plot of land was transformed into the lush mangrove forest it is now. Paddling through the cove’s salty shallow waters, the guides will brief visitors on endemic species of plants and birds who help keep the delicate balance in its ecology.  

“With mangrove trees growing up to a towering 50 feet, visitors have a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring effects of Hamilo Coast’s dedicated stewardship towards the environment. As they cruise beneath the canopy of leaves that block out the sun, one feels the crisp, clean air in the forest and surrounding areas. This can be attributed to the fact that mangrove trees are carbon powerhouses,” the company said.

Hamilo Coast management stressed why it is important to protect the mangrove trees. Mangrove trees absorb up to four times more carbon dioxide by area than upland terrestrial trees. The constant hum and buzz of wildlife also serve as a reminder that reforestation efforts encourage whole ecosystems to reform.

As underwater havens, mangroves help in expanding the fish population in Nasugbu’s waters as well. At the same time, this contributes to the livelihood of the local fishing community that makes its home at Papaya Cove where this tour ends.

The development of Hamilo Coast combines the serene beauty of both land and sea emphasizing Hamilo Coast’s concern, respect and commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

“Responsible stewardship towards the environment does not only mean helping nature survive; it also creates opportunities for nature to thrive,”  Hamilo Coast said. 

Moreover, the mangrove forest at Hamilo Coast is a prime example that a well-planned and well-executed development and nature can co-exist in harmony—to provide a most wholesome beach resort living and an excellent lifestyle choice.

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Article and Photo originally posted by Business Mirror last November 24, 2020.