In May of this year, the editorial staff of E Arubiano News took note of a publication on social networks in which the Aruba National Park Foundation (FPNA) is working hard to restore the mangroves in Mangel Halto with the support of the Ministry of Nature, Minister Ursell Arends and the help of local marines. According to the social media post, FPNA is working in collaboration with ATA and the Ministry of Tourism to change the palapas and gazebos to accommodate our visitors better. E Arubiano News recently visited Mangel Halto and could immediately notice that there has been a lot of destruction in this unique area of Mangel Halto.
E Arubiano News was able to understand from the social media posts of the Arikok National Park Foundation (FPNA) that the Mangel Alto terrestrial and marine protected area has a high natural, cultural, and economic value. A part of the FPNA vision is the importance to bring a balance back into the conservation and management of this area in a sustainable way. The name of this area accentuates the special natural characteristics of the mangroves. It is explained that the main channel of the lake’s water is reopened so that water can circulate between the mangroves. However, it can be noted from the photographs that E Arubiano News publishes with this story, that this is not the case currently at Mangel Halto. It seems that a little more tidal surveying is needed to adapt the area to the water circulation so that the water levels are continuously circulating and without depending on the high tides.
As we have learned, the Arikok National Park Foundation is working with the Aruba Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism to change the palapa and gazebos to accommodate visitors better. However, since the announcement in May of the dredging of the Mangel Halto area, as of September, the project hasn’t progressed much and is still in the early stages of implementation. However, the Arikok National Park Foundation indicated that some parts of the beach will be partially accessible for safety reasons until the beginning of June, but that the entry points to the sea will remain accessible.
At the moment, the area of Mangel Halto looks pretty devastated. Besides the mangroves that were closer to the land (near the parking areas) were drastically cut, there are more areas that have been drastically cut as well. The circulation of the seawater around the mangroves is not optimal and finally the palapas do not yet exist and are still in the column phase. The beach area or the area of white sands in the middle of the mangroves is completely evicted and the rocks that were dug to lay the foundations of the palapas are all around the area where visitors to Mangel Halto formerly used to sit and play dominoes, football, or enjoy a pleasant family day.
E Arubiano News recently contacted the Arikok National Park Foundation to elaborate a little more on the topic and plans to finalize this area of the Mangel Halto but failed to get communication with the people concerned. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Arikok National Park Foundation would like to share an update on the Mangel Halto project with E Arubiano News.