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Best Practices for Beachfront Conservation

The following are best practices for beachfront conservation, which we have recommended to various communities, towns, cities, and provinces we worked with:

  • Maintain proper setbacks and do not build permanent structures within the 30-meter easement from the established high water mark. For the San Vicente Tourism Master Plan, we recommended a 50-meter setback in consideration of storm surges, high tides, flooding, and rising sea levels.
  • Create a vibrant and attractive public space suitable for different groups of people.
  • There should be public beach access at least every 200 to 400 meters designed for differently abled people.
  • Provide boardwalks — designed with minimal impact on the beach — for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Biodiversity conservation — protecting endemic flora and fauna by planting native species of plants and trees, taking into consideration the habitat migration of local species, identifying core protection zones for conservation such as fish and marine sanctuaries, and promoting partnerships with local organizations or NGOs for biodiversity conservation projects
  • Strengthen tourism by boosting local businesses.
  • Recover the wetlands and forestlands. Preserve and rehabilitate existing mangrove forests as a natural coastal defense. By far, these are more resilient and effective than building obtrusive concrete seawalls. Should seawalls be the recommended engineering solution, design them to be “living shorelines” that mimic natural environments because these are mainly made of vegetation or other nature-based elements.
  • Ban sand extractions from the beach.
  • Ban single-use plastic and reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.
  • Require all establishments and hotels to treat their own sewage.