Local June 8, 2016 | 12:01 pm

Fire adds to threats against Cabarete’s coveted lagoon

Puerto Plata.- Aforest fire of unknown origin has swept through in the wetlands around Cabarete’sLa Goleta lagoon protected area since Tuesday, as flames devastate cattails andother varieties.

The blaze chars areas of the La Loma sector, where localsblame the fire on fishermen who allegedly burn the brush to reach the center ofthe lagoon.

Other locals say children playing in the protected area madea bonfire which sparked the blaze.

Cabarete Lagoon, located east of Puerto Plata despite beingdeclared a tourist attraction, has been subjected to an onslaught by squattersand threatened by groups of people who claim having be support of EnvironmentMinistry officials and leaders of the ruling party, PLD.

Local media report of a push to sell the lands for use byparticular tourism projects, but rejected by community and religious leaders, hoteliersand environmentalists from Sosua as of Cabarete.

To deal with the problem, David Ferreras Jimenez, of the SosuaSustainable Development Association (ADSS), said the authorities must interveneto mitigate the damages inflicted on Cabarete Lagoon.

He said former City Council director Gabriel Antonio Mora (Canoa)as well as current incumbent Raquel Sierra, “have unfortunately appealed topopulism spurring squatters on the lagoon and even selling lots.”

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