Plastic Pollution in the Philippines

We are slowly settling into our new home in Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines. I am here for 4 months, until the first week of June as a Fulbright Core Scholar. Over the next few months I will be working with collaborators at Silliman University and Negros Oriental State University, both located up the road in Dumaguete, on a number of marine and freshwater pollution issues.

The Philippines ranks third in the word for plastic pollution, and is also the center of the center of marine biodiversity, with more than 4,000 species of marine fishes! We are here trying to quantify the amount and type of pollutants, including microplastics, in several rivers, marine sediments, fishes and bivalves, in order to create a preliminary risk assessment for the marine environment and public health.

I am lucky enough to live right in front of the Dauin National Marine Sanctuary, so we can observe the incredible diversity of marine life right from our backyard.