The Tanza Marine Tree Park (TMTP), known locally as “Isla Pulo”, is a 2.1-kilometer strip of mangrove forest facing Manila Bay north of Metro Manila. The island straddles along the coast of Barangay Tanza Uno in Navotas City with an area of about 30 hectares.
Though not as famous as the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP), TMTP is nonetheless as rich as the former, especially in terms of wild flora and fauna. Indeed, the island is known for hosting the last naturally grown mangrove stands of Metro Manila, those that have somehow survived the aquaculture development frenzy in the area decades ago.
The mangroves, as well as the mudflats which appear during low tide, provide food and sanctuary to several water birds, both migratory and resident. The vulnerable Chinese egret (Egretta eulophotes) and Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) are among its regular visitors during migration season, along with droves of plovers, sandpipers, and terns.
It was this combined presence of mangroves and migratory birds that prompted the Barangay Council of Tanza to declare the area as a “marine tree park” in 2011 through Ordinance No. 4, the first of its kind in Metro Manila.
Since then, the barangay, the city government, and other local organizations have joined DENR National Capital Region in conducting regular cleanup and mangrove enrichment planting on the island. TMTP, along with the LPPWP and Baseco Beach in Port Area, Manila, testify to the rich biodiversity of Manila Bay, hence the need to protect and conserve the historic body of water.