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Tingloy Municipality


Conservation benefit: New 50-acre marine protected area

Community benefit: Nature Conservation Center

Date Approved: 02.2019


This project supports a local conservation-based tourism initiative.


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

The Verde Island Passage, between Luzon and Mindoro Islands, is known around the world for its dazzling marine life. Divers and snorkelers see abundant sharks and other fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and an enormous variety of nudibranchs and corals. Preserving this area is of the utmost importance; destroying habitat where so many species are concentrated would cause an ecological disaster.

Tingloy Municipality, which includes 15 villages (barangays), has committed to protecting a 50-acre marine area in the passage. The coral in the new MPA is diverse and in good shape.

The municipality will use a Seacology grant to build a Nature Conservation Center. The facility will serve as an environmental knowledge hub: a place to educate children and visitors about protecting the environment; a center for terrestrial and marine conservation programs, including solid waste management; and a base for local grassroots conservation organizations, including the fish wardens who patrol the protected area. Our nonprofit partner, Pusod, will work with the local tourism office and organizations to create a sustainable tourism plan.

Our partners will build the center near the pier where tourists arrive on the municipality’s main island, Maricaban. The first structures will be a covered orientation and ticketing area, and restrooms with a rainwater collection tank. (The municipality also plans to refurbish the pier itself, using funds from the national or local government.) They will also build a facility to sort and remove recyclable and saleable materials from trash.

Project Updates

February 2024

More exhibits and display equipment have now been delivered and are in use at the center.

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June 2023

Following up on the visit to Tingloy last December, Seacology made an additional grant for more exhibits and display equipment for the Seacology-funded welcome center. Field representative Ferdie Marcelo is working on this with the community and Cal Academy scientists. They have installed a TV and soundbar and are showing videos made by the Academy and by the ABS-CBN Foundation and SEA Institute.


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December 2022

This month, a group of Seacology staff and supporters visited Tingloy Island as part of our expedition to the Philippines with the California Academy of Sciences. Our guests met with a representative of the local government, who gave a tour of the welcome center and then brought them to Masasa Beach, where they had the opportunity to snorkel in the new marine reserve.

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June 2021

After community members received training on how to monitor marine species (conducted by the California Academy of Sciences and De La Salle University Manila), local monitors spotted and stopped a potentially disastrous invasion by crown-of-thorns starfish. There have been no incidents of poaching or other violations in the MPA. The new nature center was finished in March and officially opened in June.

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February 2021

The contractor building the conservation center withdrew from the project, citing increased costs and a lack of workers. Our project partners found another builder to finish the building and expect to resume work soon. The MPA is being protected.

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June 2020

Construction of the pier and visitors center stopped temporarily because of strict Covid-19 travel and work restrictions in the Philippines. The foundation and substructures are finished.

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December 2019

Duane Silverstein and our Philippines field representative, Ferdie Marcelo, visited the site in December. They reported that the MPA looked to be in good shape even though a typhoon had just swept through, forcing evacuations and damaging homes. When Duane and Ferdie tied up their boat, a reef warden immediately came out to investigate.

The contractor is working on the pier and visitors center. They should finish by February, but weather and sea conditions could affect the schedule. Tourism has already increased, making a significant impact on the local economy.

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