February 25, 2011

Alternative Sustainable Tourism in La Caleta: Carey Aquatic Center Opens in the Dominican Republic


By Reef Check Dominican Republic

With the presence of officials from the Ministries of Environment, Tourism, Reef Check Foundation, and the community of La Caleta, The Carey Aquatic Center officially opened in February. The Center will offer an alternative life to the community, who for years have hoped for a reward in this important protected area of the Dominican Republic.

The Carey Aquatic Center is one of the actions taken by Reef Check Dominican Republic, with financial support from the Interamerican Foundation, along with the Ministry of Environment, to find an environmental solution to overfishing and to make the La Caleta Submarine National Park a model of sustainable management for replication in other similar areas of the country.

The event was attended by Deputy Ministers Bernabé Mañón, Protected Areas and Ydalia Acevedo, Coastal and Marine Resources, the Sub Director of Ecotourism of the Ministry of Tourism, among other friends and related parties.

The Carey will offer equipment rental for scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking, in addition to the services of local guides to accompany the visitor on a safe and memorable adventure.

The Cooperative of Fishermen and Touristic Service Providers of La Caleta (COOPRESCA), together with the Reef Check Foundation, has developed a strategy of awareness and respect for the park’s natural resources, implementing conservation measures, a reduction of fishing pressure and now a community-based eco-tourism offering, a scenario that will benefit everyone.

The community hopes to see the benefits of the initiatives, as other protected areas with government backing and support of the community have from the preservation of the resources around them, as is the case of the 27 pools of Damajagua in Puerto Plata.

The Carey is an ideal choice to contribute to the sustainable development of La Caleta Submarine National Park. Located just minutes from Santo Domingo, divers and marine life can enjoy swimming together in the park’s crystal clear waters.

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The Deputy Minister of Protected Areas Bernabé Mañón, accompanied to his right by the Deputy Minister of Marine and Coastal Resources Ydalia Acebedo, David Espinal, Provincial Director of Environment, Joaquín Santana, Deputy Director of ecotourism and Father Fermín, pastor of La Caleta, to his left Ruth Feliz, park Administrator, Rubén Torres, Director of Reef Check DR and Gregory Batista, President of the Cooperative of Fishermen of La Caleta Ruben Torres, Director of Reef Check, speaking to the participants
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The office of The Carey Aquatic Center The team of guides
The representatives of the organizations cutting the ribbon