by Immanuelle Anne A. Ocaya
It's kind of metaphorical when you hear someone say that you don't know how important one thing is until you lose it.
But whenever I think of Layawan River's face in the not so distant future, this cliche comes to mind.
The river supports not only the livelihood of the residents living along its banks but also the rest of Oroquieta City's population because the water that people drink is sourced from the river.
But how would you feel if you found out that the river where you happen to source your vital water needs is starting to become polluted?
A study by MONHS students used phytoplankton as bioindicator of the ecological status of Layawan River.
Phytoplankton is a drifting organism in both marine and fresh water environments. They serve as the base of the food web in the aquatic world (Weis, 2011).
The team, which is composed of Romelee P. Olivar, Sharmayn AJ B. Parejo, and Immanuelle Anne Ocaya, collected two samples from the river and studied the possible connection of the abundance of certain phytoplankton to Layawan River's water quality.
They found out that during the first sampling, diatoms, a major group of phytoplankton, was dominant in both upstream and downstream sites.
The environmental factors such as depth, transparency, pH level, temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, total hardness and NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) content of the water samples supported these findings.
In the second sample collection, the same trend was observed.
Diatoms were dominant while chlorophyceae, dinoflagellates, and red algae followed respectively.
Based on their finding, the researchers concluded that the river is in the oligosaprobic class. This means that it is slightly polluted.
Now we may argue that we do not have anything to do with all the percentages involved with researcher's study.
We may close our eyes to all the technical words and experiments that they used.
But being the youth of Oroquieta City, we must not close your hearts to what is right in front of us.
We need to breathe new life to Layawan River now more than ever before.