2019, 2020, 2021
Mangrove Conservation and Ecotourism
The Parque Ecológico el Tablón, located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic (DR), contains several terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including tropical rainforest, mangrove forest, sand dunes, and wetlands. The flora and fauna that inhabit the area had been largely degraded due to unsustainable activities, such as overfishing, large amounts of waste, deforestation, and water pollution, which has resulted in the loss of biodiversity. Fortunately, local communities and governments are increasingly understanding the important role coastal ecosystems, and mangrove forests in particular, play in supporting their communities.
This project will engage local communities to advance mangrove conservation and restoration efforts within the limits of El Tablón Ecological Park. The park restoration and community-driven management practices will provide the best conditions for mangroves to thrive in the short- and long-term. Seacology will support local communities by providing ecotourism resources and the development of a honey bee farm. As part of this collaboration, members of the Sosúa Fishermen’s Association will take charge of the maintenance, surveillance, protection, and monitoring of the Ecological Park and restoration areas. They will receive training on conservation and monitoring, and local guides will be trained to teach visitors about the local area’s ecosystems and their importance. Educational materials will be shared with local schools as well as businesses to encourage the future protection of these ecosystems.
- Fully fund the El Tablón Ecological Park restoration project by establishing a mangrove nursery, plant 1,200 mangroves to restore five acres, and protect 55 acres of highly diverse ecosystems.
- Pilot a honey bee farm to provide sustainable livelihoods to local residents.
- Provide technical training and resources to local fishers association, local Fundacion Ecological Magua, and community support to sustainably manage their natural resources and alternative livelihoods.
- Implement field trip educational opportunities for communities and businesses to incentivize long-term protection.
- Contribute to the overall, five-year national campaign to protect mangroves throughout the Dominican Republic in close collaboration with the national government.
- Support community restoration of approximately 100 acres of mangroves creating a total mangrove conservation area of over 200 acres in Giriama (Robinson) Island, Kenya.
- Support continuous access to safe drinking water by providing the local community with a 60,000-gallon freshwater cistern and support further water infrastructure development.
- Build capacity for local NGOs and communities to manage, and collaboratively enforce island conservation efforts.
- Disseminate educational materials to raise awareness of mangrove conservation.
Seacology is a California-based nonprofit, with a mission to work with islanders around the world to protect threatened ecosystems and help their local communities by offering villages a unique deal: if they agree to create a forest or marine reserve, Seacology provides funds for something the village needs, like clean drinking water, a schoolhouse or health clinic. Since 1991, it has launched 339 projects, working with villages on islands in 64 countries, helping to protect approximately 1.3 million acres of some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.