Lago Enriquillo: an environmental challenge
Lake Enriquillo in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic has doubled in size over the past eight years, swallowing thousands of acres of farms and more than a dozen villages. It is the largest lake in the Caribbean, and one of the few saltwater lakes in the world inhabited by crocodiles. During the late 2000s, the lake has increased its surface area dramatically. Records for 2004 show the lake to be 164 square kilometers; measurements from 2011 put the area at 350 km². This rise in level has affected hundreds of nearby residents in townships that bordered the lake, with abundant loss of agricultural land which, even if the waters recede, will probably be rendered useless due to the lake's salinity damaging the qualities of the once-arable soil.
Reasons for the flooding are being debated, but may be a combination of several. There has been an increase in rainfall in the region in recent years. Increased sediments going into the lake from run-off due to deforestation are also contributing to raising the lakebed and milder temperatures are reducing the surface evaporation rate.
Chocolate Country, a video about La Red Cooperative, an organic cacao cooperative where DR RPCV Kerchner Artisan Chocolate purchases it’s cacao. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary in the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival. View 5 minute version.
History of organic production in the DR.