Holy Week (Semana Santa) is upon us once again, a time when many Dominicans and foreign tourists visit Miches to enjoy and discover the natural wonders that this beautiful municipality has to offer. Among them, our beaches. Whether on the sand or in the sea, while you’re taking the time to relax and have fun, it is important to keep in mind that these beaches are a natural treasure that must be protected.
We must not throw solid waste in them and we should respect the regulations that prohibit the entry of vehicles onto the sand; these are just some of the actions that we can take into account when visiting the beaches.
When we get to the beach, we usually only see sand and sea, but the reality is that thousands of small birds, crabs and an array of species live in this area and their habitats are significantly affected when we do not make proper use of the environment.
For example, accessing the beach via motor vehicle can compact the sand, significantly affecting the organisms that inhabit it, which can reduce food sources for many birds that feed on these microorganisms.
Believe it or not, engine noise, although may not affect humans, can also be very damaging to wildlife. Additionally, the tracks that vehicles leave in the sand can prevent the passage of small species, thus altering the expansion of their habitat and affect their reproductive potential.
The coastal vegetation of beaches and dunes is easily damaged by vehicle traffic. When the authorities restrict the entry of vehicles to the beach, they avoid unintentionally transporting seeds and small roots of invasive species that are fast-growing and steal the space to the local vegetation, typically found in the cracks of tires.
Tips to taking care of our beaches during Holy Week
- Bring your own waste bags and make sure you collect all trash or waste generated during your stay.
- Locate your nearest trash can where you can leave your waste bags. Make sure you seal your waste bags well to prevent street dogs from destroying them.
- Remember that vehicles can not enter the beach. Locate the parking areas specifically designated for beach-goers and their vehicles.
- If you take your dog, keep watch of them at all times to avoid disturbing any nests in the sand. Also, do not forget to collect their waste.
- Be mindful of cigarette butts. They are not biodegradable and will stay up to two years on the beach. If you smoke, it is advisable to put the cigarette butts in a container and take them to be disposed of in a trash can.
- Never remove rocks or coral, as they serve as protection for many species. Seashells contribute to the beach habitat, so it is important that we do not collect them; the