Local June 11, 2014 | 11:04 am

Official unveils plan to protect the country’s marine ecosystem

Santo Domingo.- Most of the pollutants in the world’s oceans come from cities, industries and agribusiness, dragged naturally along the coasts by rivers, streams and urban sewage systems.

This statement forms part of the National Action Plan to protect the marine environment from activities on land, unveiled by the Environment Ministry on Tuesday, to mark World Oceans Day.

This initiative aims to implement actions to control and reduce the socio-economic impact of productive activities on land, promote sustainable development and conserve, utilize and protect the waterfront from negative impacts

"Oceans produce foods of high nutritional value, sources to manufacture many medications, provide hydrocarbons and mineral and space for sports and recreation," said Idalia Acevedo, Deputy minister for Coastal and Marine Resources .

The marine biologist said despite their benefits, the oceans are threatened by land-based pollution, altered habitats and excessive exploitation of marine resources and its living species. “This situation has led to landfills that destroy ecosystems and reduce the chances for life in their main habitats: coral reefs, sea-grasses, beaches, mangrove forests and coastal lagoons.

Among the concrete actions the official cited figure waste-recycling programs; identify agricultural and industrial sources of pollution and set penalties for polluters, recruit support from coastal towns, and technical and financial aid from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UN Program for the Environment.

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