Even for now, even if it's isolated but obvious, give it time where nothing substantial will be done, they will lose their sand," said Dr. Miguel Fortes, head of the UNESCO's National Committee on Marine Science (NCMS).
The erosion is happening particularly at Diniwid, a 200-meter long stretch of beach in the Southern part of the island, known for its powdery white sand.
was astonished when he
saw the drastic change in the sands within two years since his
last visit in 2007.
had been commissioned by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in Boracay
to conduct a study on the erosions, after local officals were alarmed by the phenomenon.
explained that the erosion is occurring too rapidly, not because of overcrowding, but mainly because resorts and locals have built "environmentally unfriendly" structures like sea walls, which have blocked the natural flow of the current that naturally replenishes the beach.
"Sand should only move in and out of the shore, in and out, and it does not move to other islands.
They have modified [natural processes] by constructing something, water and air is hindered, changing wave patterns on the coast so that erosion becomes more dominant," he
Wind patterns determine tide patterns, which in turn, are affected by the topography of coast causing both accretion (the build-up of sand making the shoreline farther away) or erosion (the loss of sand which makes the shoreline closer and closer inland).
Normally, there should be a balance between accretion and erosion processes, which would sustain the beach's natural slope.
Sea walls and other structures that block the currents, Fortes
said, are in danger of crumbling because waves have a stronger and harsher backlash when they slam against a wall.
should be protecting tourist destinations which are diving, boating, glass bottom boats," Fortes
said after conducting initial investigations with a team of scientists in February. (see video)
explained that coral reefs and seagrass act as buffers against wave impacts, but they have become less effective because of destruction, as well as sea level rise caused by climate change.
added that powdery white sand comes from coral reef organisms called "foraminiferans" but they can no longer replenish the coast because they have also been destroyed.
said this proves unsightly for tourists.
has also constructed bio-reefs to encourage more fish to come back to the area.
said these are just quick fix solutions and recommended that Boracay's annual income should be used instead for long-term solutions like preserving the marine ecosystem in the area.
But it takes at least double the time for it to recover," Fortes
was hopeful, however, that the problem could be solved if local government agencies, Boracay residents, and business establishment owners work together.