Local April 13, 2023 | 11:40 am

Academy of Sciences warns about “justification” of damage to wetlands and beach in Manzanillo

The Academy of Sciences in the Dominican Republic has raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of projects related to the Development Plan of the Port of Manzanillo (Pepillo Salcedo) in Montecristi. They claim that these projects could cause significant damage to the wetland area and Estero Balsa Beach. However, the company responsible for the environmental impact assessment study of one of the projects, a natural gas plant, has denied these allegations.

Eleuterio Martínez, president of the Academy of Sciences, expressed his disapproval of the dredging of part of the wetland area and filling of part of the Estero Balsa beach with caliche, stating that it would destroy the area’s tourist potential. Additionally, the cooling process for the gas plant would involve using seawater and discharging it back into the sea, which could harm the manatee and other species that reproduce in the area.

Martínez acknowledged the need for the development of Montecristi and the Northwest Line but emphasized that this should not require the destruction of the area’s natural resources. He identified the firm Empaca as the company responsible for the environmental impact assessment of the gas plant, which was later clarified by Mario Méndez, who stated that the natural gas plant is run by the Dominican Hydroelectric Generation Company (Egehid) and that it does not involve any dredging process or mangrove destruction. However, Méndez acknowledged that there are other projects in the area that may fall within these areas of concern.

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