Many benefits have been achieved after conservation and maintaining of the resources that attract tourists. Several strategies need to be incorporated in order to mitigate loss of natural resources. There should be collaboration between the various players like the natural resources department and the tourism sector who should also involve the community in their conservation efforts (Boyce and Pastor 3). When this is achieved many benefits to the community and the government at large are achieved.
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Protection of river corridors
All participants involved should work in dialogue to establish the most economically profitable use of the river corridors. The strategy should encompass long term sustainability of the natural resources. According to Wenger and Fowler (2000 p. 5), preservation of naturally occurring vegetated corridors along the streams can act as a buffer to the streams by protecting them from degradation from nonpoint pollution while at the same time offering the reduction of impacts due to floods, providing benefits of recreation to the people and also giving the wildlife their habitat (Boyce, 270). The strategies established should aim at the following; strategies to ensure removal or trappings of sediments in the Medina river runoffs, there should be reduction of bank erosion along the Medina River. Measures against eutrophication of Medina River ecosystem should be enhanced through trapping and removal of phosphorus, any nitrogen or other nutrients which may cause this (Williams 160). The authorities involved should ensure all contaminants of the river are removed and their sources controlled. Finally, the community should work towards improving the aesthetic appearance of River Medina by controlling any activity that may lead to pollution.
Protection of hills
Mixed use planning strategy should be applied where the hills are used for different purposes. Vegetations are able to grow along the hills due to the cool climate. They also offer good climate by being a source of relief rainfall. The vegetation that surrounds hills offer habitat to wild animals and thus helps in their conservation. The mixed use planning strategies applied in protecting hills involve maintaining the vegetation cover on the hills (World Bank 20), which in turn ensures the soil remains compact therefore reduction of soil erosion which would otherwise cause gullies destroying the aesthetic quality of the hills. By so doing the hills grow vegetation which in turn offers home to world animals therefore remaining a tourist asset.
Protection of wooded areas
In conserving the wooded areas greenways strategy is employed which guides protection of natural systems. Forested areas regulate the local climate by acting as sinks for carbon dioxide which is a green house gas (Nolon et al. p.60). The greenways strategy ensures protection of wooded areas through prohibition of felling down of trees, control of human encroachment to forested areas which may lead to cutting of trees and vegetation, and establishing plans for regular planting of trees (Hoff p.10).
Protecting wildlife habitats
The wooded areas along the hills of Castroville offer the habitat for different species of wild animals that are found in this city. Medina River also provides an aquatic ecosystem where different species of aquatic animals find a home. The forests and vegetation should be conserved through afforestation strategies and reduction deforestation activities (Kojo 4). The aquatic ecosystem should be protected through strategies established to protect Medina River.
Incorporating a 100yr floodplain and aquifer recharge zone
The council of San Antonio has formulated an Act that offers provisions for the protection of watershed and aquifer recharge zone (SAWS para. 2-6). It aims at regulating some activities which may cause pollution to the aquifer since it is the source of water for San Antonio. It also allows for some reasonable levels of development to take place in the regulated area and empowers the San Antonio water system to enforce and administer the provisions of this Act. The protection of natural resources of Sao Antonio for tourist attraction should be based on the provisions of this Act. It should be used to provide guidelines on the management and protection of these important natural resources. The provisions of this plan are also used for prosecution against those who contravenes it. The management authorities should incorporate it in carrying out their duties.
The Regional Park is a habitat to many animals, species of birds and aquatic animals which together make the ecosystem. It provides a place for relaxation purposes and many people visit it to unwind. It also has recreational facilities like swimming and tennis playing. These activities have encouraged tourists to visit the city of San Antonio to enjoy what it offers. Greenways strategy should be employed which helps in conservation of such areas. The park should be enlarged to cover a bigger area. The land use around the park should be converted to belong to the park. Its enlargement will come with many benefits like enabling conservation and protection of the forested areas, Medina River and the wildlife found here. The existing land is limited in space and coverage hence does not encompass a larger part of Medina River or the woodland. Its expansion will ensure maximum benefits are reaped by the whole community.
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