TUI Sea the Change Dominican Republic

Bávaro Beach, near Punta Cana, is a popular tourism destination in the Dominican Republic that dazzles its visitors with white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs. With an estimated four million tourists arriving at nearby Punta Cana International Airport every year, the beach is a part of the most developed touristic infrastructure in the country.

But seasonal overpopulation at the beach, coupled with unsustainable fishing practices, a rapid growth in the local economy, and a tourism industry that hasn’t prioritised environmental conservation, has had a disruptive effect on the natural regeneration of its vulnerable underwater ecosystem.

TUI Sea the Change Dominican Republic is working in partnership with Bávaro Reef Ecological Foundation to restore and preserve the ecological health and biodiversity of the area through community engagement and education. The project creates a long-lasting impact that ensures a thriving and resilient ecosystem in and around Bávaro Beach.

In recent years, Bávaro has faced a number of challenges in effectively protecting the local marine environment. Increasing boat traffic creates a risk of collision with bigger sea animals and noise pollution that disrupts the behaviour patterns of marine wildlife. In addition to this, boat moorings and improper anchoring practices can damage coral reefs and seagrass beds, contributing to the destruction of important habitats. Coral reef degradation is also a result of overfishing and pollution, which causes disruptions in the delicate balance of the underwater ecosystem.

To help maintain the marine biodiversity of Bávaro, TUI Sea the Change Dominican Republic is working in partnership with the Bávaro Reef Ecological Foundation (Fundación Ecológica Los Arrecifes de Bávaro). The programme contributes to the protection of a total of over 560 hectares of seascapes, which will be zoned and demarcated through five TUI Care Foundation buoys.

Awareness workshops and coral gardening helps to train 200 local beach workers and fishermen to protect the area. Almost 30 organisations will be engaged in Bávaro as well as Cabeza de Toro to build understanding and capacity to respond to local conservation needs.

The programme relies on the creation of a sustainable tourism product, the Bávaro Snorkel Lover experience, which will engage 27.500 tourists through a combination of coral gardening, awareness and snorkelling. A local ranger team patrols the beaches to protect against turtle poaching, and a coral nursery programme helps to restore the local sea urchin population.


The Bávaro Reef Ecological Foundation (Fundación Ecológica Los Arrecifes de Bávaro) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 2016 and officially registered on 2018. The concern for the constant loss of coastal resources in the Punta Cana Bavaro tourist area and decrease in marine life biodiversity motivated the surveillance and enforcement of the areas in collaboration with local authorities.

The Foundation is committed to the responsible management of coastal resources, as well as the conservation and holistic protection of the marine ecosystem of the area. We maintain coral nurseries and artificial reefs that guarantee the preservation of the endangered species that belong to the marine ecosystem affected by tourism activities.

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