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Volunteers needed in the Philippines

“The Sulu Fund for Marine Conservation Foundation, Inc. (or Sulu Fund) is a non-government organization based in Cebu City, Philippines (http://www.sulufund.org). It was founded in 1998 to support marine conservation in the Philippines. The name was taken from the Philippines? southern Sulu Sea known for its extremely high marine biodiversity unequalled in the world. The name thus symbolizes a benchmark of marine biodiversity sought in other parts of the Philippines and globally.

The Sulu Fund was formed with the intention to address some critical marine conservation needs of the country. The primary goal is to efficiently channel financial and technical support to practical, implementable and effective coastal and marine conservation projects in selected coastal locations. We have projects in Mabini, Batangas, Central Visayas, Palawan and Sulu Sea.

The Sulu Fund is currently recruiting volunteers for the following project:

Saving Philippine Reefs

Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition
Central Visayas, Philippines
March 23‹April 1, 2002

A Joint Project of:
The Sulu Fund for Marine Conservation Foundation, Inc.
The Coastal Resource Management Project
and Expedition Volunteers

This reef monitoring expedition will determine the status of coral reef health within selected marine protected areas (MPAs) bordering the islands of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Apo and Siquijor in the Central Visayas, Philippines. It will update baseline data in the research sites collected in the early 1980s and 1990s. The expedition results will support the current management of the MPAs and indicate effectiveness of protection from illegal fishing and other improper activities in the areas. The trip will be educational and fun while producing critical information for management of the MPA study sites.


The expedition volunteers will be experienced scuba divers or snorkelers. Most will have participated in one of the ?Saving Philippine Reefs Earthwatch Expeditions.? The volunteers will make reef surveys using prescribed methods during morning and afternoon dives and snorkels. Each volunteer will make two survey dives per day for the nine-day duration of the trip. The first day will be dedicated to training and practice surveys to assist divers to learn and improve their survey skills. Volunteers will be able to make optional recreational dives after survey dives are completed.


Any experienced diver or snorkeler is welcome to join. The only requirement is that volunteers come prepared to assist to collect the required data on the two research dives and snorkels each day and to fill in information forms after the dives. Divers are also welcome to do photography as time and energy permit. The expedition can accept 12 persons only.


The expedition will begin and end in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental,
Philippines. The schedule is projected to be:

Saturday March 23: Arrive in Dumaguete City from Manila in the morning, briefing
Sunday March 24: Training and practice dives in front of beach resort
Monday March 25: Survey MPA reef in Sibulan, north of Dumaguete
Tuesday March 26: Survey reef of Sumilon Island, southern Cebu Island
Wednesday March 27:Transfer to Apo Island, survey reef of Apo Island
Thursday March 28: Survey MPA reef of Dauin or Bacong
Friday March 29: Transfer to Siquijor Island, survey reef of MPA in San Juan
Saturday March 30: Survey reef of MPA in Siquijor Island
Sunday March 31: Transfer to Dumaguete, survey MPA reef in Negros
Monday April 1: Depart Dumaguete for Manila in morning


The expedition will cover the period from meeting time on the morning of March 23 in Dumaguete to departure from Dumaguete in the morning of April 1, 2002. Included in the fee US$1900 per person are diving, food and lodging for the 10-day and 9-nights. Not included in the fee are costs for: equipment rental (except for weights and tanks), extra drinks and food, souvenirs and other miscellaneous items. Volunteer participants will be responsible for travel costs and arrangements from their point of origin to Dumaguete, Philippines via Manila. Reservations for connecting flights from Manila to Dumaguete can be arranged through travel agents and assisted by the Sulu Fund if necessary.

Those interested should contact the Sulu Fund at the contact information below and indicate their desire to join the trip with a $500 deposit on a first come first serve basis until the trip is filled. The balance payment of $1400 will be due on or before February 1, 2002. Paying the total amount of US1900 at any time is also acceptable. Please mail check payable only to Sulu Fund for Marine Conservation Foundation. (Please indicate at the check
?for deposit only to the account of Sulu Fund? for safety reason). The address is: No. 2 Topaz Street, Saint Michael Village, Banilad, Cebu City, attention: Alan/or Vangie White.


Organization: Sulu Fund for Marine Conservation Foundation, Inc.
No. 2 Topaz Street, St. Michael Village, Banilad, Cebu City,
Phones: 6332-231-1521 or 6332-232-1822; Fax 6332-232-1825
Email: sulufund@mozcom.com or awhite@mozcom.com

Principal investigator: Dr. Alan White
Asst. Principal Investigator: Dr. Patrick Christie
Coordinators: Ms. Evangeline White and Ms. Anna Meneses
Scientific dive master: Mr. Jonathaniel Apurado
Other assistants and guides: To be determ

Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelanhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Stephan is the Founder of DeeperBlue.com. His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up DeeperBlue.com and has grown the site to be the most popular diving website and community in the world.