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Dominican Republic

Las Calderas Bay


Conservation benefit: Protection of 586 acres of seagrass ecosystems for 10 years

Community benefit: Strengthening of mangrove beekeepers cooperative and wildlife-based tourism, community awareness


Date Approved: 06.2024


This project supports a local conservation-based tourism initiative.


This project protects seagrass, which traps more CO2 than any other marine ecosystem, slowing global warming.

Las Dunas de Las Calderas is a protected area on the south-central coast of the Dominican Republic, only one and a half hours’ drive from the capital of Santo Domingo. Despite its dry appearance, it is teeming with life, home to the endangered Hispaniola parrot, rhinoceros iguana, recently discovered curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus sixtoi), hawksbill and green turtles, and manatee. 

Seacology has worked on mangrove conservation with the local beekeepers’ cooperative since 2022. Now, we are shifting to protection of the area’s seagrass ecosystems. Las Calderas Bay is home to three species that cover about 586 acres within the protected area. This is essential habitat for the West Indian manatee and sea turtles, as well as important food species such as lobster and Queen conch. The health of the seagrass ecosystem is threatened by sedimentation and runoff, coastal development, and inappropriate fishing and boating. 

The cooperative plans to help conserve seagrass by establishing community patrols, conducting educational workshops, installing signage, and engaging stakeholders such as tour operators and other local businesses. The cooperative will work with local and national authorities (the Ministry of Environment has taken a particular interest in the coop’s work) to create a management plan.

In exchange, Seacology is funding the development of birdwatching tourism, so cooperative members will have another sustainable source of income. They will build nature trails and wildlife observation platforms near mangrove and salt marsh areas. Members will learn how to lead tours, highlighting the rich birdlife and unique dry and mangrove forests. They will also rent kayaks and serve organic food to tourists. 

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