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Dominican Republic

Bajo Yuna Mangroves National Park


Conservation benefit:Protection of 49 acres of restored mangroves

Community benefit:Ranger station and office for surveillance and patrol of the park

Date Approved: 02.2024


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

Bajo Yuna Mangroves National Park, in the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, covers 30,000 acres and contains the largest continuous area of mangroves in the country. The park is also home to the DR’s largest population of bloodwood or dragonsblood trees, named for their vibrant red sap, and a unique freshwater wetland savannah. One hundred and two bird species, both endemic and migratory, have been identified in the park — six of them are classified as vulnerable, and two are endangered. An endemic freshwater turtle is found in the area, as well as several species of arboreal lizards. Along the coast, manatees and dolphins have been spotted. But like other mangrove forests in the DR, the area faces ongoing threats from encroachment by agriculture and development.

The municipality of Sanchez, located at the northern end of the park, is a main entrance to the protected area. Local government officials, tour operators, and fishers are all very interested in improving and protecting the area, promoting enhanced tourism, successful small-scale fishing, and conservation activities for local youth.

CEBSE, a local organization that we have partnered with before (and which is led by Patricia Lamelas, recipient of the 2018 Seacology Prize), is making conservation of Bajo Yuna’s mangroves and engagement of the communities around the park high priorities.

With a Seacology grant, CEBSE will turn a shipping container into headquarters for the park’s seven park rangers and technicians, who don’t have an office or ranger station. This building will have a sleeping area, office, and restroom, and will be powered by solar panels. It will serve as a hub for park monitoring, as well as community conservation and restoration efforts. We’ve funded similar projects in Jamaica, at Portland Bight and Oracabessa Bay.

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