Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Spanish and Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Christine Henseler


Puerto Rico, la sostenibilidad, el ecoturismo, Vieques, la bioluminiscencia


Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination with a multitude of valuable ecosystems that both directly and indirectly contribute to the economic output of the island. Two of these ecosystems are the bioluminescent bays of Laguna Grande and Mosquito Bay, located on the island in Fajardo and Vieques respectively. More generally speaking, Vieques is also a popular tourist destination, due to the existence of the bay, in addition to various beaches and wildlife reserves. In the past decade however, the bioluminescent bays have blacked out on multiple occasions, creating a great deal of concern amongst policymakers, as well as the local population. In addition to the concerns with the bioluminescent bays, the island of Vieques also has a great deal of ecological issues, as the island served as a military testing site for the United States military for about 60 years. The most popular theories as to what is causing the ecological damage are the following: poor environmental management strategies and overtourism.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the isolated events that have led to the environmental concerns regarding Laguna Grande, Mosquito Bay, and the island of Vieques. Another goal of this paper is to emphasize the importance of sustainable travel and the pivotal role that ecotourism could play in mitigating the environmental damage that has been done to the island of Puerto Rico. Upon researching and analyzing various case studies and adapting other management strategies to the situation in Puerto Rico, a master plan centered around educating those on the ecological concerns of the island in addition to emphasizing the importance of sustainable travel would be largely beneficial to the recovery of the natural ecosystems of the island.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.