Popular Dominican Republic Beach Battles Sargassum Invasion Along With Trash Problem

Summer has not even started and some popular Dominican Republic beaches, like Andrés in Boca Chica, are already covered with sargassum.

Local experts claim that an increase in algae is imminent due to the arrival of the summer season in a week and the current global warming.

They also report that this problem is already affecting local governments in different ways.

To mitigate environmental and economic effects, the Sargassum Fighting Cabinet is actively working on short-term policies to respond to the challenges posed by the uncontrolled arrival of algae.

The final disposal of sargassum concerns authorities because tourist hotspots like Boca Chica are already facing serious problems with the regular garbage the community generates.

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Boca Chica residents warn about the negative economic impact a huge arrival of sargassum may have on a small tourist town like this.

They say City Hall and local business owners have managed to keep beaches relatively clean despite the current sargassum invasion.

The alga is intercepted in the open sea, and when it’s not possible, it is collected directly on the beach, from where it is trucked to different landfills.

It sounds like the authorities have all sorted it out. But nothing further from the truth.

In municipalities like Boca Chica, solid waste dumps are located all over the town, creating a threat to the region’s tourism development.

In fact, most of them are situated along Las Americas Highway and the main roads leading to tourist areas.

According to local media outlets, in Santo Domingo, you can find dumps at the entrance of villages, beaches, or in front of educational institutions.

The City Hall says it has not been able to properly remove household waste because most collection vehicles the new mayor received are broken.

Seeing authorities’ lack of capacity to remove waste from the streets, residents have had to hire people who transport items by cart to take their garbage to the dumps.

It is not clear how the government is going to deal with the massive arrival of sargassum this summer, considering that the situation is already precarious.

Recently, the Dominican Republic received a $400 million loan from the World Bank to strengthen environmental protection. It hasn’t been revealed if it will use some of that money to fight Sargassum.

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