The Maipo River Wetland Park is located at the mouth of the Rio Maipo in the municipalities of Santo Domingo and San Antonio, San Antonio Province, Valparaíso Region. It was declared a Nature Park by the Municipality of Santo Domingo in 2002.

The Maipo River Wetland is an important natural habitat for marine and freshwater birds, including a wide variety of migratory birds. Every year specialized tourism attracts a large number of national and international visitors, which provides benefits to the local economy and culture. In addition, the wetland provides with a variety of ecosystems of high cultural, aesthetic, recreational and educational value. This wetland is an open space where you can observe ecological processes and intuitively understand and interpret natural phenomena through the senses; and, most importantly, it allows for us to understand our interdependence and ancestral relationship with this kind of landscape.

The mouth of the Maipo River

The estuary of the Maipo River, like all marine and coastal wetlands, plays a critical role in mitigating the impact of floods, which may be associated with rain storms, swells or increased sea levels, as happened after the earthquake in 2010. It is for this reason that it is of paramount importance to integrate the analysis of the vulnerability of this coastal area within the processes of sustainable planning. The development of urban waterfronts, such as the Province of San Antonio, should incorporate studies that assess the effects of this urban development on the services provided by wetland systems, estuaries and coastal dunes as natural protective barriers, taking into account the impact of climate change in the magnitude of flooding, erosion, saline intrusion in the aquifers and increased sea levels.

In 2002, the Municipality of Santo Domingo created the Rio Maipo Wetland Nature Park, which covers 40 hectares of wetland.

In 2014, Fundacion Mar Adentro and Fundación Cosmos joined the efforts of the Municipality, signing an agreement that seeks to protect the ecosystem and promote its sustainable use to contribute to the development of research, environmental education and the expansion of sustainable tourism. For this the following objectives have been proposed and the following series of activities have been carried out:

  1. Develop Infrastructure

OECD Delegation

  1. Achieve Its Official Protection

Río Maipo Wetland

  1. Elaborate a Master Plan
  1. Disseminate its Importance

The Parque Humedal Río Maipo is located at the mouth of the Maipo river in the communes of Santo Domingo and San Antonio, Province of San Antonio, Valparaíso Region. It was declared a Natural Park by the Municipality of Santo Domingo in 2002.

The Maipo River Wetland is an important natural habitat for seabirds and freshwater birds, including a great variety of migratory birds. Specialized tourism attracts every year a large number of visitors at international and national level, which is beneficial for local economy and culture. It also provides a variety of ecosystemic services of great cultural, aesthetic, recreational and educational value. This park is an open space where one can observe ecological processes and learn about and interpret in an intuitive and sensory way natural phenomena. Most importantlyit allows us to understand our interdependence and ancestral relationship with this type of landscape.

The estuary of the Maipo river, like all marine and coastal wetlands, plays a critical role in mitigating the impact of the floods which can be a product of rainfall, water swells  or  rising sea levels, as witnessed in the 2010 earthquake. For this reason, it is paramount that the analysis of the vulnerability to natural hazards of this coastal area should be integrated into the processes of a sustainable planning and that the development of urban waterfronts, such as that of the Province of San Antonio, must include studies of increased levels of flooding, erosion, saltwater intrusion into aquifers and the effect of the sea level associated with global climate change, in accordance with the services provided by wetlands, estuaries and coastal dunes as natural protective barriers.

In this context, the Municipality of Santo Domingo, together with Fundación Mar Adentro and Fundación Cosmos endeavor to protect this ecosystem and promote its sustainable use, from the point of view of research, environmental education and as a center of tourism development. For this end we have proposed a number of objectives:

  • Support the Municipality of Santo Domingo

As part of the celebration of the World Shorebirds Day, on September 6, 2014, Fundación Cosmos, Fundación Mar Adentro and the Municipality of Santo Domingo began to work together in a joint effort for the protection and sustainable use of the wetland.

During 2014 the Municipality of Santo Domingo built in the Parque Humedal Río Maipo, interpretive trails and hired a ranger for the wetland during the summer. During the summer of 2015, Fundación Cosmos together with Fundación Mar Adentro, developed the design of an infrastructure of access to the park which includes a multipurpose room and an outdoor exhibition and education space. They also designed a new interpretive signage for the tour of the trails. Additionally, to support education and the park’s upkeep, the Foundation will support the formation of a team of rangers throughout this entire year.

  • Increase its official protection

In a joint partnership with the Municipality of Santo Domingo, Fundación Cosmos, Fundación Mar Adentro and the Kennedy Foundation, a Foundation that is dedicated to the protection of wetlands, the Maipo River Wetland is filing an application to integrate the wetland to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, known as Ramsar Sites.

  • Develop a master plan

During 2015 Fundación Cosmos will develop a master plan for the wetland. During the first stage, it will gather environmental, economic and social information, including a process of citizen participation and of various stakeholders. Then, based on the information obtained, the areas of preservation, conservation and multiple-use of the wetland will be defined, according to their biological importance and the actions to be therein developed. This zoning will allow creating cross-cutting programs of scientific research, education, tourism and management, among others.

As a complement to regional planning, a management model will be implemented which will allow developing in the long term a master plan to generate sustainable management.The Maipo River Wetland is an important natural habitat for seabirds and freshwater birds, including a great variety of migratory birds. Specialized tourism attracts every year a large number of visitors at international and national level, which is beneficial for local economy and culture. It also provides a variety of ecosystemic services of great cultural, aesthetic, recreational and educational value. This park is an open space where one can observe ecological processes and learn about and interpret in an intuitive and sensory way natural phenomena. Most importantlyit allows us to understand our interdependence and ancestral relationship with this type of landscape.

 

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