For decades, the Dominican Republic has always been caught in the eye of the hurricane. The country just experienced this again with Hurricanes Irma and Maria, where there was much damage and has reminded many of Hurricane George in September 1998, a hurricane that is engraved in the Dominicans’ memories, even though it was a category 3. The 12 foot waves devastated Santo Domingo city, causing over 300 fatalities and extensive damage, Santo Domingo was affected by floods, sea level rise, and famine. This tropical storm affected the agriculture, tourism and other sectors important for the growth of the Island. The communities of Punta Cana and the Malecón of Santo Domingo were partially destroyed.
The country from that point on understood that we had to adapt to climate change and that it was a real threat. We have seen much flooding, and you can see here how the Dominican Republic is dealing with flooding after Maria. Also, ocean acidification and beach erosion is happening at an increasing rate, just like it is in many other vulnerable Caribbean nations. We have seen how climate change has given us warmer ocean temperatures and ocean acidification — a killer for coral reefs that, like mangroves, provide sanctuary for smaller fish. To protect this beautiful Island for future natural disasters, we shall start taking care of our environment. Thus, when a hurricane as harmful as George, Irma or Maria comes we will be prepared. As I said before, to help to solve climate change, we shall start by taking care of our planet and loving it as one’s self.
I think what you are describing threats to the Dominican Republic are very much being felt all across the Caribbean and the Globe. I think the issues regarding the acidification of the ocean and threat to coral reefs is very much a particular threat to the island. I think that it also stands to threaten the tourist industry that the island relies upon. As side from the particular threats, I think that the storm surge effect that is experienced during hurricanes is something that stands to affect most coastal areas. This increase in storm surge and flooding that is accompanying climate change was very much felt in NJ/NY during hurricane Sandy.