Like all coastal towns, Buenavista has its own wide expanse of mangrove forests, a portion of which can be seen along the national highway. These forests are part of a broad strip of coastal mangrove swamps that start way back from the town of Tubigon. These thick mangrove forests were once a part of Inabanga until Buenavista was made into an independent municipality in 1960.
Yes, the mangroves appear in stark contrast to the white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees which are often the destination of most tourists in Bohol. But for those who know better, exploring the mangroves and seeing the varied wildlife in it, is far more exhilarating!
The mangroves proliferate along the coast and on the banks of the winding Cambuhat River. Their presence along the riverbanks adds to the picturesque appeal of the river which now plays host to eco-tourists who are treated to paddle boat rides on board native boats. From the highway and docking area, the boats go downstream, winding thru verdant and thick mangroves and nipa palms.
The mangroves vary in size from shrubs to tall trees and are covered by thick foliage of small oblong-shaped leaves. What gives the mangroves their unique appearance are the tangled roots that protrude above the ground and appears as if it is trying to hold on to something for dear life. It does have its uses.
For one, the intricate root system of the mangroves helps to keep the soil from being eroded especially along the coast with the ever present threat of wave surges brought about by storms. That is practical! But reading further on about mangroves, one finds how important these queer-looking trees are, and especially their roots!
The roots spread underwater and serve as safe hiding places for hundreds of fish species, including crustaceans and invertebrates; where they spawn, nurse and feed their young. The nutrients from decaying leaves of the mangroves are trapped around the roots and are the marine life’s source of food.
So mangroves are critical to fish production and the proliferation of other marine species. It is just right that the people of Bohol and those of other islands know of this. It is a relief that the government are now into programs to preserve and even expand the mangrove forests and even promoting them as eco-tourism sites.
In Buenavista, especially in the Cambuhat area, the people are working hand in hand with government agencies and NGO’s in the preservation of the mangroves. The Cambuhat River and Village Tour has been established to promote eco-tours among the mangroves while imparting important information on how they’re being managed and their various uses.
For added information, Buenavista is famous for its sweet and tasty oysters! If you join the Cambuhat River and Village Tour, you will be treated to a hearty lunch of oysters and other seafood which is abundant in the area.
Do you know that they are grown on rows of wooden racks at the water’s edge by oyster farmers? But more are thriving in the wild, proliferating on the intricate and tangled roots of the mangrove trees. And also, it is home to the freshwater prawns and grouper fish which the tour operators usually prepare for their guests. Wow!