Dominican Republic Beach Town Declares State Of Emergency, Facing Crisis Beyond Seaweed Woes

Boca Chica is a Dominican Republic beachfront municipality located 19 miles away from Santo Domingo, known for the stunning color of its calm blue waters and… its garbage. Tons of it.

For years, travelers have taken to social media to alert other visitors against visiting this town due to its trash, unwelcome graffiti, insane motorcycle traffic, beggars, and more. But that is about to change.

The newly appointed major, Ramón Candelaria, is determined to tackle these issues and, for starters, he has declared a “State of Emergency” due to the 75-100 tons of litter the city produces daily. 

“Boca Chica municipality is officially in a state of emergency, because it is generating between 75 and 100 tons of garbage per day, and on weekends it increases due to beachgoers,” he said. “The illegal landfills were created due to the latest administration’s lack of action,” said Candelaria.

Committed to improving the looks of the municipality, the new mayor launched an extensive operation to clean up garbage and eliminate illegal landfills on his very first day in office.

The clean-up started at 11:00 am with the support of the Executing Unit of the Presidency of the Republic regarding matters of solid waste (ECO 5). Around 60 people, 14 trucks, 1 retro shovel, and 3 mechanical shovels were used to complete this task.

Sargassum Situation in the Dominican Republic Beaches

Seaweed sargassum in the Dominican Republic is another type of garbage affecting its amazing beaches. 

Fortunately, resort managers and DR authorities have developed strategies to collect sargassum every day, both at the beach and in the open sea.

This timeline shows the overall seaweed situation over the last few days. This information has been retrieved from Algues sargasses Punta Cana and Sargassum Seaweed Updates Dominican Republic FB groups.

May 2

– Arena Gorda Beach, the beach where Riu Palace Punta Cana is located, was nearly sargassum-free this day.

– Playa Bávaro, Majestic Elegance Resort’s beach, was sargassum-free.

May 1

– Juanillo Beach, Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa’s beach, presented a low-medium level of sargassum.

– Arena Gorda Beach, Riu Palace Punta Cana’s beach, had medium levels of sargassum but it was quickly picked up by authorities.

Abril 30 

– Arena Gorda Beach, Riu Palace Punta Cana’s beach, had very low levels of seaweed but the waters were clean.

– Playa Bávaro, Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort’s beach, had small patches of seaweed but nothing that could ruin travelers’ day at the beach.