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Bahía de Sosúa Underwater Park

The Bahía de Sosúa Underwater Park is located in the Sosúa Bay, in the municipality of the same name in the Puerto Plata province. It was created by Decree 634-05 of November 23, 2005. The area has an area of ​​8.5 km2. UTM coordinates 340494 2185027 can be taken as reference.

The natural communities of the Bay of Sosúa are represented by sandy beaches, rocky shores, coral reefs and seagrass beds. Estuaries and mangroves are also located in its surroundings. These communities are home to a great diversity of flora and fauna species, both marine and terrestrial, many of them of great biological and economic importance.

Some are endemic and others are threatened. The resources of the Bay of Sosúa are highly threatened by various types of direct and indirect impacts that include, among others, over fishing of marine organisms, tourism development, modification of the conditions of the coastal zone (mainly beaches), extraction of resources ( coastal and marine) and recreational marine activities.

The purpose is to ensure the sustainable use of the coastal-marine ecosystems of the Sosúa beach cove area, within the bay, to maintain the balance between the protection of natural resources and the conservation of the environment; by establishing zoning and management regulations.

The Bahía de Sosúa Underwater Park has a perimeter of the theme park that is surrounded by infrastructures that, over the years, have contributed to the degradation of ecosystems, as well as overfishing and the dumping of the waters of the Sosúa River. But, even so, coral colonies, coral reefs, seagrass meadows, beaches and other ecosystems are preserved

The area corresponds to a Subtropical Humid Forest, according to the classification given by Holdridge. The main species of flora observed in the terrestrial area are: coconut (Coco nuciferas), beach grape (Coccoloba uviferas), almácigo (Bursera simaruba), gri-gri (Bucida buceras), almond (Terminalia catapa), hicaco ( Chrysobalanus icaco), mara (Callophylum calaba), royal palm (Roystonea hispaniolana) and others.

In the marine area, turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) and manatee grass (Syringodium filiformis) are found. There is a great diversity of fish among them: sergeants (Abudefduf saxatilis), wrasses (Thalassoma & Halichoeres), bocayates (Haemulon flavolineatum), groupers (Cephalopholis fulvus), snappers (Lutjanus apodes) and some species of sharks of the genus Carcharhinus, rays (Aetobatus narinari) and others.

In addition, there is a great diversity of corals, among which the species of Acropora palmata, Agaricia agaracites, Agaricia lamarckiana, Madracis mirabilis, Diploria stingosa, Porites porites, Porites divaricata and others stand out.

Crustaceans are represented by the pelu crab (Ucides cordatus), cave pigeon (Cardisoma guanhumi) and mickey (Coenobita clypeatus). In recent years the presence of turtle nests has been detected.

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