Havana Harbor: Where Life is Re-emerging

The quality of the waters in Havana Harbor gives hope for the ecosystem

The encouragement of healthy recreation for residents and visitors on the basis of environmental education is among the objectives of the State Working Group at Havana Harbor


The encouragement of healthy recreation for residents and visitors on the basis of environmental education is among the objectives of the State Working Group at Havana Harbor (GTE- BH), the entity in Havana that is in charge of the projects for cleaning, preserving and developing the ecosystem.

The contaminant loads from 48 people’s councils of the ten municipalities in Havana are directly or indirectly dumped into the harbor’s ecosystem.

At present, there are 315 educational centers from the different teaching levels, located in this area. In addition, a total of 100 entities devoted to production and services are also performing their work there.

According to recent research, contamination has decreased between 50 and 60 percent in the last decade.

Waters have been regenerated and the dissolved oxygen is again one of its components. Greenness has come back to the harbor and the fauna has begun to be present in the sea floor.

Life reappears. Seagulls, pelicans and other species are coming back to these places. No floating spots of oil are seen in the sea surface; but rapid schools of sardines.

Fishes jump inviting fishermen to enjoy one of the more human ancient sports: domestic fishing.

Educational Work: An alternative for everybody

The reinforcement of educational and training actions, among other solutions that allow the welfare and guarantee optimal hygiene for students and workers, are planned for improving the quality and cleanness of water in Havana Harbor.

Thus, a group of actions are implemented to avoid waste being dumped in this area in the city. These actions will allow decreasing progressively the contaminant load in rivers and streams that converge in the tributary hydrographic basin of the Havana Harbor.

The director for the Group of GTE- BH and Master in Science, Johanna Socarrás Stable explained that it’s necessary to begin the transformation in the behavior that is followed in the communitarian environment and the care of the health of the people.

“Habits and customs have to be changed to stop the forest degradation in the coastal belt, promoting social discipline and watching over the fulfilment of the established legal dispositions regarding this,” she said.

The strategy established includes the creation of Community Environmental Agency Groups which work together with the population, enterprises and the representatives of other sectors in the society.

Children, adolescents and adults have to take part in this experience, together with the local entities.

Everybody can help in the cleaning of the neighborhood and landscape environment in a voluntary way having the knowledge and offering their support to the collectivity, from culture, politics, environment and the local economy.

New Courses

Havana Harbor, a typical bag shaped bay of nearly 5.2 square kilometers and an average depth of nine meters, was considered as one of the most severely contaminated in the Caribbean.

However, it’s headed toward new socio-economical courses following a decision taken by the Cuban State.

The maritime-port operations that were carried out in this place, have been gradually transferred toward the Special Development Area in Mariel Harbor, located at 50 km NW Havana, in Artemisa province.

This mega project in the Mariel Area aspires to be the main Cuban commercial port for abroad, and the main gateway for the entrance of the merchant ships in Latin-America.

Thus, Havana Harbor will just offer services to host cruises and yachts, and other nautical activities.

Recreation, culture and tourism supporting the knowledge of the local history, are among the functions included in several plans for investment, which have been carried out with that purpose.

Positive advances in the quality of the waters in Havana Bay, give hope for the ecosystem.

Songs are coming back to the harbor walk. The city is emerging from the farewell of its lights and shadows. Life has reemerged again on the side of the warm sea in Havana.

Translated by ESTI

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