The Grace Bay or Gracias is also called Luperon Bay, this beautiful bay is located to the west of the province of Puerto Plata, when according to some accounts Christopher Columbus himself would seek refuge in its surroundings, to save his fleet, during one or several storms.
It is considered, worldwide, as an important point for nautical tourism of sailing vessels in the Caribbean region. The Dominican Republic is located on the sailing route between the United States and the Lesser Antilles. According to ECLAC, the country offers 7 facilities with about 880 moorings for pleasure boats of any kind. Islands like St. Lucia offers 2 facilities with 293 berths or St. Martin as 13 facilities with 1020 berths.
The Grace Bay or Luperón, in addition to its natural beauty, offers a natural shelter against storms and hurricanes. The Cordillera Central stands in the way of these phenomena, making it very difficult for the eye of a hurricane to reach the bay.
Even if a phenomenon moves near Luperón, its characteristics guarantee safety to the boats anchored inside, where no damage to boats has been recorded since 1930.
Liliana Betancourt Fernández and Alejandro Herrera Moreno published with the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo in 2004 the book: “Bahía de Luperón: ecological notes for the conservation of a protected area”, where they detail the environmental impact that the bay of Luperón has received by different anthropogenic factors, among which the impact of nautical tourism stands out.
Among the environmental impacts described in the book, the construction of a public dock on rocks stands out, altering the natural patterns of water circulation. Also overfishing, wastewater, uncontrolled dredging, extraction of species, deforestation and poor management of the mangrove, since many boats are tied to the roots of the mangrove, causing significant damage.
By then, they identified a potential great impact on this protected area, the risk of exceeding its carrying capacity. This means a maximum of visitors that the destination can receive above which a development compatible with natural resources cannot be ensured.
As a conclusion of this study, they highlight that from the point of view of sustainable territorial planning, possibly a Marina can help reduce the risk of exceeding the load capacity. Regarding the latter, let us remember that a marina can establish ordered sites of adequate standard dimensions for the mooring of different types of vessels, so that it is possible to gather a large number of vessels in a relatively small space.
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How to get to The Grace Bay or Luperon Bay: CLICK HERE!