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Term Lagoon

A natural deposit of stagnant water, either fresh or salty. The difference between lagoons and lakes is not very significant, except for the fact that a lagoon is smaller and more shallow. A lagoon usually has brackish, cloudier water, with large variations in its level, depending on rainfall and the rivers that flow into it. Lagoons are shallow and turbulent.

Lagoons include bodies of water such as ponds or pools, which are temporary and can be full of mud because of their high content of organic matter. Coastal lagoons are shallow deposits of brackish water that form parallel to the coast, separated from the sea by strips of coast or islands. This type of lagoon constitutes an essential type of ecosystem for the reproduction of mollusks, such as oysters, and crustaceans, such as shrimp. Lagoons can also receive fresh water discharge from rivers or streams. Lakes and lagoons make up the inland drainage basins.

The most important lagoons in the Dominican Republic are the Cabral or Rincón lagoon (the total area of the refuge is 65 km2); Oviedo lagoon (27 km2), Limón lagoon (7 km2); Redonda lagoon (5 km2) and Bávaro lagoon (9 km2).  The Rincón lagoon is located in the southwest region of the country, near the towns of Cabral and Cristóbal, and serves as drainage for the Yaque del Sur river. The Oviedo lagoon is located in the Southeast region, in Barahona, where it is part of the Jaragua National Park. The Redonda and Limón lagoons are close to Miches, in the eastern region of the country, an area declared as a scientific reserve in 1983. Finally, the Bávaro lagoon is located in the eastern part of the country, also within a protected area, but despite which it has suffered severe damage caused by the expansion of hotel facilities in this delicate ecosystem.1, 2

1OEA (Organización de Estados Americanos). Secretaría General. Reconocimiento y Evaluación de los Recursos Naturales de la República Dominicana: Estudio para su Desarrollo y Planificación: Washington, D.C., 1967.

2Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. (Consulta: 22 marzo 2011)


Additional Information
PhotoVista de una de las lagunas de la isla Saona
Topic  BiodiversityResources coastal / marine