Dominican Republic: No Work Area Declared for Luperon Bay Wildlife Refuge

The Dominican Republic’s Environment Minister Miguel Ceara Hatton has announced the signing of a co-management agreement for the Luperón Bay Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Plata province, which means the area is now a “no-work” zone for boats.

Published 1 year ago

Denise Simpson, the OCC Port Officer and SSCA Host for the Dominican Republic told Noonsite that no work is allowed on boats – either on land or on water in this area as per letter from the Government which was originally sent out in 2020 and is now being strictly enforced.

“This means no grinding, sanding polishing, fibreglassing, painting or mechanical work either on land or on waters as per the marked off areas in the following chart,” said Denise.

The defined “No-Work Zone” for the Luperon Bay Wildlife Refuge.

“Arrests will be made for violation of the rules in the area as defined by the chart with fines and possible imprisonment.

“Also of note to anyone intending to visit the Dominican Republic is that new stricter rules are also being finalized with regard to port paid moorings and illegal moorings being hired by illegal long-term live-aboards working without having DR company residency.”

Luperon Bay is a popular place for international sailing. The bay is a safe natural harbor because it has a single entrance in front of the Atlantic Ocean, defined by a rocky coastline on both sides, and a prominent coastal bluff stepped on its east side, called Loma de Las Auyamas. The bluff has a dense coastal broadleaf forest with dense mangrove vegetation.

Work Must be Carried out in Approved Marinas

According to the Environment Minister’s Statement “due to the area’s status as a wildlife refuge,  all mechanical repairs to boats, constructions, reconstructions, adaptations, polishing, painting, etc., are prohibited from being carried out in any area of Luperon Bay.  Any work must be carried out in a marina with an environmental licenses and with dikes , where vessels can be hauled out and in designated anchorages only. “

The Ministry signed the inter-institutional co-management agreement for the planning, management, monitoring and administration with the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM); the Asociación de Veleristas; the Fundación Grupo M and the Junta de Vecinos La Rusia.

The PUCMM will conduct research and technical support programs for the refuge’s management plan. Among its responsibilities will be to present scientific solutions to the challenges posed by the management, care and proper use of the area.

The agreement establishes that the Dominican Port Authority, the Dominican Navy, the Dominican Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA), provincial senator Ginnette Bournigal, provincial governor Claritza Rochtte, and deputy Juan Medina are the advisors to the environmental governing body for the project.

The Council of Co-Management was launched and a committee set up to plan the works for the reorganization and sanitation of the entire Luperon Bay.

The Council takes on the responsibility for the cleaning and surveillance of the area; making arrangements for repairing existing facilities and infrastructure. It will report monthly to the Ministry of the Environment on the activities carried out, infractions, arrests, number and origin of visitors. It is also responsible for planning and implementing the sanitation works required by the bay to improve the protection of its eco-systemic resources and create new development potential for the municipalities of Luperón.

Environmental consultant Liliana Betancourt presented the recently approved management plan for the area by the Ministry of Environment.

In addition to Environment Minister Ceara Hatton, the agreement was signed by Secilio Espinal, rector of the PUCMM; Mónica Capellán Reynoso, president of the Grupo M Foundation; Danilsa Magdajary Santos Medina, president of the Association of Sailors; and Xiomara Bonilla de Jaarsma, president of the La Rusia Neighborhood Board.

Among the representatives of the institutions that will act as advisors are Claritza Rochtte, governor of the municipality of Luperón; Vice Admiral Francisco Antonio Sosa Castillo, commander general of the Dominican Navy; Joaquín Fernández, deputy director of the Dominican Port Authority; the mayor of Luperón, Douglas Pichardo; Carlos Then, director of CODOPESCA; Ney Soto, director of Protected Areas; Roberto Gómez, Northern regional coordinator of Protected Areas; Pedro Hernández, administrator of the RFV Bahía de Luperón, among others.

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Related News – in Spanish:

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Noonsite has not independently verified this information.

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