Tubod Marine Sanctuary
Situated on the southwestern side of the island, this 7.5 hectare protected area was originally declared in 1989. A series of amendments in the ordinance and changes in the management re-established it as a protected area in 2003.
This fringing reef is characterized by a long stretch of white sand, a large algal and sea-grass bed in the flat reef and followed by a slope dominated by branching growth forms of live hard corals. This MPA is also houses the Coco Grove resort and Sea Explorers dive shop.
The MPA is managed by the Tubod Fishermen's Association which is an organization of local people. It is also assisted by the Municipality of San Juan, the provincial government, the Tubod barangay local government unit, Coco Grove Beach Resort, and the Coastal Conservation and Education (CCE) Foundation.
The habitats being conserved in this marine sanctuary are mainly coral reefs and seagrass. Notable species that have been resident marine life inside the sanctuary are turtles and the potato-head grouper (Epinephelus tukula). There are also several stations where giant clams have been placed for protection within the sanctuary, which are closely monitored by the Sea Explorers divers in the adjacent dive shop.
The sanctuary is easily accessible from the beach of the Coco Grove Beach Resort and you can either enter from the shore or use a boat and moor on to any of the buoys placed conveniently on either side of the sanctuary. Within the sanctuary, which is clearly marked by a line of white buoys all along its boundaries, motorized boats are not allowed to enter or anchor and no fishing whatsoever is allowed.
Near the shore the bottom gently slopes out to a distance of approximately 50 meters and this area is predominantly sea grass beds. As the depth increases coral heads and different soft corals dominate. At a depth of around 6 meters the bottom resembles steps of coral which are interspersed with dazzling white sand valleys perpendicular to the shoreline. In this area the bottom steepens out to from spectacular mini walls and overhangs reaching down to 15meters or more in certain areas.
The marine sanctuary is open for all and the Barangay Bantay Dagat has station house and personnel along the beach side for guidance. Coco Grove Dive Center operating in the front beach area has scuba diving and snorkeling equipment rental services, facilities and personnel that can guide in exploring the sanctuary.
Payment of Fees:
Scuba Diving ( without any camera ) -Php 100.00/diver/dive site.
Scuba Diving with camera ( still camera ) - Php 150.00/diver/dive site.
Scuba Divingwith video ( moving camera ) - Php 200.00/diver/dive site.
Snorkeling - Php 50.00/snorkeling/dive site.
Diving/Swimming ( without Equipment/Scuba) - Php 20.00/diver swimmer/dive site.
Equipment Rental Rate:
Full Set (Mask, Snorkeling, Booties, Fins ) - Php 260.00 /Day
Individual Rental Rate for Each Mask, Snorkeling, Booties, Fins ) - Php 65.00/Day