Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands

great and little sta cruz islands
Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands | Image Credit | fb/DENR9Official

Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape

Did you know that the Pink Beach of Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands was named one of the 21 Beaches in the World by the National geographic in 2017? Its rosy hue is due to the abundance of the red Organ Pipe Coral (Tubipora musica) in the area long ago. Its pulverized remnants mixed with white sand give the beach its color.

The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) managed and invested in the Big and Small Sta. Cruz Islands, which was frequented by locals and foreigners since the 80s.

On April 23, 2000, Presidential Proclamation 271 renamed the islands into Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands and were declared as Protected Landscape and Seascape as its category pursuant to Republic Act 7586 or the NIPAS Act of 1992.

In 2011, the local government of Zamboanga City and DENR 9 entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the co-management of the protected area with DENR having the oversight function.

The protected area was legislated under the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System by virtue of RA 11038 or the ENIPAS Act of 2018.

The area is a sea turtle nesting site. 1 critically endangered and 2 endangered sea turtle made the area their nesting site.
These sea turtles are:

  1. Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) – critically endangered
  2. Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea – endangered
  3. Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) – endangered

The area’s 90 hectares of mangroves serve as the roosting ground of flying foxes and the habitat of different species of fishes and crustaceans.

It is home to 53 bird species, one of which is an endangered species, the Far Eastern Curlew.

Visitors to the Great Sta. Cruz island is regulated by the Local Government Unit of Zamboanga. Activities include Lagoon Tours, Picnic, Beach Sports, and Diving.

How to get in touch:
DENR 9 Hotline – 0948-147-1250


Address: CENRO Zamboanga City, Gen.Vicente Alvarez st., Zamboanga City

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