We’re excited to announce that Patricia Lamelas, a longtime environmentalist from the Dominican Republic, will be the recipient of the 2018 Seacology Prize!

Lamelas has worked with the nonprofit CEBSE, the Center for the Conservation and Eco-Development of Samaná Bay and Surroundings, for more than 25 years. Her voice has been influential in the movement to conserve the rapidly changing region. She has advocated for protection of the bay, which is home to countless bird species and an important breeding and birthing ground for humpback whales. Awareness of the importance of mangrove forests is now growing worldwide, but Lamelas was ahead of the curve, having worked for the preservation of these vital ecosystems for more than two decades. At CEBSE, she has worked with local communities, where many people relied on cutting mangroves for charcoal, to find sustainable livelihoods. She has helped to secure legal protections for mangroves, established the first mangrove nursery in the province, and led programs to educate many Dominican youth about their local environment and climate change. CEBSE is a valuable partner in one of Seacology’s first projects in the Dominican Republic, working to promote ecotourism and protect mangroves in the community of Las Garitas.

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