The tour continues…now toward the ocean!
After a VERY full day of farm tours, we left the rice fields and head to our hotel for a fantastic dinner and rest. The next morning started off with our group on a boat sliding through the ocean with a biologist that shared his expertise about the impacts of chemical run off on the oceans followed by a tour through the neighboring mangroves in Monte Cristi National Park.
We boat out to an island where we will get into our scuba gear to observe the coral and fish. The first thing we notice on the island is bags of trash. Our tour guides tell us that the community wanted to clean up for us so they picked up all the trash but there is nowhere for it to go so it sits in piles. It was a very thoughtful gesture so indicative of people in the DR doing the best with the available resources.
After snorkeling, we went to visit a local fishing village to hear from that community. Just like with the rice farmers, AgroFrontera is working with the fishing community to find sustainable solutions that have positive impact on the environment and financial success for those farmers and the DR community. The lionfish is an invasive species that also harms the overall ocean ecology. AgroFrontera is working with the fishing community to turn that around by creating a market for the fish. Dr. Freddie Payton, Director of AgroFrontera, is teaching the fishers to not fear the lionfish and to see them as a resource. Freddie is also helping the community understand that it is safe to eat the lionfish and it’s good. Our Sustainable Food Lab Learning Journey group is a part of that education by eating the lionfish at our meals to demonstrate to the local community that people will enjoy the fish. And I can provide personal testimony that lionfish is delicious!!!
The best way to view the following pictures is to click on the first and view them as a gallery.