On July 22, 2022, the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR) of the Ateneo de Naga University, led by Ms. Joanaviva C. Plopenio, Officer In Charge, conducted the water sampling activity in Lake Bato, Camarines Sur. This is in response to the invitation of Mr. James Nathaniel Refugio, Executive Director of Act Now For Ranow (ANFR) Movement, and Mr. Eric P. Mirabueno, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President of Bato, Camarines Sur to provide them the current environmental status of Lake Bato based from scientific data as well let the youth of Bato participate in the process of scientific data gathering. This activity, being one of the series of activities of the ANFR Program, aims to engage people, especially the youth to act in saving Bato Lake ecosystem from possible deterioration.
Before the actual conduct of the sampling activity, a brief discussion on the importance of water sampling activity, water bodies classification in the Philippines, and water sampling equipment was discussed. Copies of the water sampling manual modified for the activity including the map showing the sampling stations were distributed to the participants. This helped provide context to the activity for the youth participants. Afterward, participants who wished to join the actual field sampling activity were divided into 3 groups. Along with the INECAR Team, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) staff joined the group by collecting phytoplankton samples using their equipment and sharing their multi-parameter water sampling apparatus.
The lake sampling activity lasted for about three (3) hours and the group was able to gather data on the following physical-chemical parameters such as water temperature, pH, transparency, salinity, humidity, cloud cover, ambient temperature, and atmospheric pressure. Other observations were also noted such as the presence of vegetation, fish cages, and current weather conditions.
The data gathered will be consolidated by the organizers and submitted to INECAR for analysis and interpretation. Afterward, it will be presented to the organizers for their utilization like lobbying the Local Government Officials of Bato regarding their concerns for the lake. Indeed, the participating youth and the organizers are enthusiastic about leading this initiative.
by Jay P. Abawag