Well, it's official -- humans are the worst. Boracay Island, the most popular vacation destination in the Philippines, will be officially closed on April 26th due to the excessive dumping of sewage waste in the surrounding turquoise waters.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the island will remain closed for the next six months. Duterte calls Boracay's white sand beaches a "cesspool" that have been completely contaminated from overcrowding.
Boracay gets around two million visitors every year, and is home to more than 500 hotels, 17,000 employees and 11,000 construction workers building new developments. Of these residents, at least 4,000 of them are living in areas that aren't connected to sewer lines. Meaning they have no choice but to dump human waste directly into the sea. Gross.
This major sewage problem already seems to be wreaking havoc on the island's tourism industry, and many businesses are suffering. A rep from the Boracay Foundation says that, “the tour guides have already complained that they have no more guests. There’s already a huge effect.”
Tourism secretary Frederick Alegre says that the Philippines government is working hard to help the island's displaced staff and residents during the closure. He says that the closure is the government's opportunity to "deal with years of neglect of the environment.”