The “Sustainability Program of Playa Bahoruco” began on Friday March 16, 2012 with a training session of twenty-five surfers from the community in a new alliance of the Dominican Surfing Federation (FEDOSURF), Hotel Casa Bonita, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and the Committee on Sport and Environment of the Dominican Olympic Committee (CODEMARENA), chaired by Lic. Felicita Heredia.
This program is a new initiative designed to cultivate a self-sustainable community for the maintenance and preservation of the beach, for the benefit of its ecosystem, and to strengthen the community and its profile as a naturalistic, tourist and sporting destination. With training sessions to be conducted regularly throughout 2012, the first daylong meeting included theoretical training and a beach clean-up, and integrated youth from fourteen to twenty-three years of age, from the beaches of Bahoruco, Arroyo, Juan Esteban and La Cienega.
Rafael Matos Feliz, Regional Professor at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), and executive member of the Tourism Cluster of Barahona, developed the plan “Ecosystem and Solutions, Bahoruco beach” and made a presentation with data and material on the topic to all attendees, including program supporters Mr. Nestor R. Puente, President of FEDOSURF, Mr. Roberto Nolasco, Manager of Hotel Casa Bonita, John Holder, professional environmentalist with the Peace Corps, and Julio Betances, Vice President of the Association of Surfing South (ASDS).
After the theoretical presentation and interactive group discussion, hosted by Hotel Casa Bonita, an in-service training program was launched on the beach, for the actions of the classification of existing solid waste (plastics, debris), a complete beach cleaning and its transfer to a storage facility, with the activity concluding late in the evening.
Also addressed was the matter of coastal erosion and the problem of natural stones of Bahoruco and Ojeda regularly being removed by the truckload, for sale and export. The beautiful white stones originate from inland rock, become rounded in the river and finally polished in the sea. Although they appear to be plentiful, these stones are not a renewable resource. Once they are gone, they are gone for good, as it takes hundreds of thousands of years to replenish, so they must be protected. Sand and pebbles from rivers are easily lost to the deep from where they cannot return, so the ones on the beach are a precious rarity. They are kept from disappearing into the deep by regular waves.
The next programs are scheduled to take place on May 11 and July 11, 2012, with an evaluation of results achieved from the first initiative, and additional theoretical training and beach clean-ups, with more training dates to be announced in the future. If you are interested in helping to support the preservation of Playa Bahoruco, please contact the Dominican Surfing Federation at http://fedosurf.org.