Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Highlights for the week ending August 20th

08.20.2016 Coastal Profile in Piñones Beach:
Our new Habitat Restoration Specialist, biologist Ivangs Rivera, MSc, led twenty (20) volunteers in the latest monthly beach profile in Piñones, as part of our ongoing Citizen Science and Dune Restoration initiatives. Beach profiles consist of measuring the dunes' heights and depressions and their distance from incoming tide, resulting in a complete terrain delineation of the area. These results are then used to track dune migration in the zone.




08.20.2016 Inventory of current and past adaptations to climate change in the Martín Peña Channel Communities
Our Climate Change Community Coordinator, geographer Roberto Morales, led a group of ten (10) community leaders and artists thru the Martín Peña Channel area to evaluate the current situation in the adaptations to climate change of this community. The initiative is part of a New York Community Trust and the SJBE project to work in the climate change community adaptation strategies and create a vulnerability and risks geodatabase.




08.20.2016 Educational booth at the Manatee Conservation Center of Puerto Rico
The AmeriCorps VISTA Environmental Improvement Community Organizer, Rosana Betancourt, participated in an important educational event in the Manatee Conservation Center of Puerto Rico from the Interamerican University, Bayamón Campus. The activity was aimed at teachers of elementary, middle, and high school of Puerto Rico to educate them about the conservation of this endangered species.  Our educational booth provided information about the Trash Free Waters initiative's importance in that conservation task.




08.19.2016. Cigarette butts inventory at Alto del Cabro
As part of our Trash Free Waters initiative, our Restoration Specialist, biologist Ivangs Rivera, led an inventory cigarette butts in Mariana and Wilson Streets in the community of Alto del Cabro. Our AmeriCorps VISTA and staff participated in the event and collected 273 cigarette butts in 200 lines meters. This data serve as a baseline to measure the impact of the installation of ashtrays outside two business of the area.  During the event, they shared information with the community about the impact of trash in the streets and how it affects the quality of water of the lagoon.




08.18.2016 New educational material in the web
We've been releasing all our educational materials and publications through our website, estuario.org. We have implemented two new sections:


Materiales Educativos (educational materials):
Publicaciones (publications):




08. 18.2016 Green Flag for Condado Lagoon
In general, the lagoon did meet the enterococcus measurement standard. The average was 4.50 CFU/100mL, which is below the limit of 35CFU/100mL. Only one station did not meet the requirements (Cll Aguadilla, 63CFU/100mL).
Link to interactive graph:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Highlights for the week ending August 13th

8.8.2016: Educational and environmental field trip by Condado Lagoon
Our Education Manager, Javier Cardona, guided a group of girls from the 015 troop of the Girl Scouts. The eleven (11) enthusiastic scouts identified the flora and fauna surrounding the Condado Lagoon and grasped the importance of environmental volunteer work through a water quality monitoring exercise.


8.9.2016: Third Forum Of Prevention And Control of Light Pollution in Puerto Rico
We supported the Third Forum Of Prevention And Control of Light Pollution in Puerto Rico, at the Conservatory of Music of PR. Our Habitat Restoration Specialist, Ivangs Rivera, MSc, and ornithologist Laura Fidalgo, MSc, were present at this important and interesting forum.


08.12.2016: Educational Campaign about the lionfish
We’ve started an educational campaign as part of our Lionfish population control pilot project with a series of colorful posters. These are now on display in our Visitor Center and have been shared through our social networks.

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08.13.2016, Trash Free Waters Project:
An important educational activity was organized in our Visitor Center this weekend. The AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, our Trash Free Waters Coordinator, Rosana Betancourt gave a workshop about how to create reusable bags. This initiative was a prelude to the law prohibiting the use of plastic bags in Puerto Rico and as part of our Trash Free Waters project. Ten (10) participants learned more about the San Juan Bay Estuary, the importance of volunteer work and how to make reusables bags.

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8.11.2016: Green Flag for Condado Lagoon
In general, the lagoon did meet the enterococcus measurement standard. The average was 14.03CFU/100mL, which is below the limit of 35CFU/100mL. Only one station did not meet the requirements (Cll Aguadilla, 63CFU/100mL).
Link to interactive graph:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Highlights for the week ending August 6th

8.5.2016: Conservation and restoration projects across the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed
Our new Habitat Restoration Specialist, biologist Ivangs Rivera, MSc, led a trip to the wetlands surrounding the Suárez Channel to evaluate the current condition of the non-native species Melaleuca quinquenervia within the area. He was accompanied by our Scientific Director, Jorge Bauzá, PhD, ornithologist Laura Fidalgo, MSc, and our Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Harold Manrique.


Volunteer work
This week, the El Nuevo Día newspaper published a collaborative article between our Executive Director Javier Laureano, PhD, and reporter Gerardo Alvarado, about the rise and increasing need for volunteer work during one of the worst economic recessions in Puerto Rico's history. The article highlights the efforts of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program's own volunteers as the de facto alternative for environmental justice to the communities of the watershed.
Published on Sunday, August 7th.
Link to the article:

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8.6.2016: Estuary Cinema at the Condado Lagoon
Last Saturday we presented “The Good Dinosaur”  at the Jaime Benitez park, by the Estuarine Reserve of the Condado Lagoon.


8.5.2016: Green Flag for Condado Lagoon
In general, the lagoon did meet the enterococcus measurement standard. The average was 5.01CFU/100mL, which is below the limit of 35CFU/100mL. Only one station did not meet the requirements (Cll Aguadilla, 63CFU/100mL).
Link to interactive graph: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19yi2BOweCNrhtjqJTaFcLWr4fAvd9KULoK0icZ4wJTk/pubchart?oid=644539262&format=interactive

Highlights for the week ending July 30th

Our 3rd educational summer workshop:
From July 26th to July 29th we held the third edition of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program Summer Workshop. Javier Cardona, our Educational Manager, challenged 20 youngsters from our estuarine communities to use their creativity and knowledge to develop sensitivities towards the ecosystems, flora and fauna of the San Juan Bay Estuary. We finished the four (4) day workshop with an educational field trip through the Natural Reserve of the Piñones Forest.



Urban Waters National Training Workshop 2016
From July 26th to July 28th our Executive Director, Javier Laureano, Ph.D., participated in the EPA, Urban Waters National Training Workshop 2016, in Washington DC. This year the Conferences' goals were to: inspire and strengthen the urban waters movement to build and sustain robust effective partnerships across the country, strengthen skills in working together with underserved communities to address their priorities and environmental justice challenges and connect, share, and learn with other innovators about how to convene, engage, and succeed in our partnership work.



7.30.2016, Bird Census in Alto del Cabro:
Last Saturday, seven (7) volunteers conducted a bird census in the Alto del Cabro community in Santurce. Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Laura Fidalgo, MSc, led the census, where fourteen (14) bird species were identified.




Yellow Flag for the Condado Lagoon:
This week, the Condado Lagoon did not meet the eneroccocus measurement standard. The average for the lagoon was 107.92CFU/100mL, way above the minimum requirement of 35CFU/100mL. the stations Cll Aguadilla (624CFU/100mL), Morrillo (63CFU/100mL) and Jaime Benítez (345CFU/100mL) did not meet the standard.

Link to our interactive graph:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Highlights for the week ending July 23rd

7.18.2016, Our Visitor Center has a new exhibition:
We opened our Visitor Center's new photo collection. The exhibition "Communities & Nature: Collection of Estuarine images" currently features four impressive community photos, taken by AmeriCorps VISTA Alumn Joselín E. Ramírez, in the Piñones area.


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Urban ecological wealth
Our Science Director Jorge Bauza, Ph.D, published a column in the El Nuevo Dia newspaper this week. The article, published on July 22nd, focused on the ecological wealth of Las Curias Lake.
Link to the column:


July 19th-22nd, Estuarine Water Quality Volunteer Monitoring Program:
This week we held our monthly Water Quality Monitoring event.  Dozens of volunteers cooperated with our Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Harold Manrique, sampling water from 24 monitoring stations within the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed.




7.22.2016, Avitourism as an economical alternative:
Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Laura Fidalgo MSc, gave a workshop about Alvitourism as an economical and ecological alternative in a community of El Caño Martín Peña. Five (5) new ecotourism leaders attended the workshop, which encompassed bird identification, classification and sightings routes.




7.23.2016, Coastal Profile in Piñones Beach:
Continuing our Citizen Science and Dune Restoration initiatives, Ivangs Rivera, MSc, led ten (10) volunteers in the latest monthly beach profile in Piñones. Beach profiles consist of measuring the dunes' heights and depressions and their distance from incoming tide, resulting in a complete terrain delineation of the area. These results are then used to track dune migration in the zone.




Green Flag for the Condado Lagoon:
This week, enterococcus readings for the Condado Lagoon complied with the federal standard. Here's the link to more information:


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Highlights for the week ending July 16th

Oral and life History Workshop:
This week we said goodbye to six of our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. In the last two years these VISTA led us to major environmental, social and economic achievements in the communities of the Estuary. For this special occasion, on July 15th we organized a workshop about oral history and life history provided by historian Ruth García, PH.D. Participants were able to share about their experiences, while learning to build oral histories and life stories through the development of interviews.



Bird Census in Old San Juan:
Last Saturday the Old San Juan was the scenario for dozens of interested volunteers who conduct a bird census. Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Laura Fidalgo, MSc, showed them the different strategies to locate and identify bird species in the area. Twenty-five volunteers participated and more than a dozen different birds were identified.


The Cone Festival in Las Curias:
On Saturday 16 and Sunday 15, we continued our support of Las Curias communities. We participated in the Cone Festival with an educational booth. Hundreds of neighbors and general public joined us.


Green Flag for the Condado Lagoon:
This week we monitored the Condado Lagoon as part of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve Enterococcus Monitoring Project. On average the reserve meet the federal standard of 35CFU/100mL reporting a total of 19.16(CFU/100mL),
Consult data:

Highlights for the week of July 11th

562 pounds of garbage out of our San Juan Bay Estuary, 7.7.2016:
As part of our education and volunteer initiatives, 562 pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, were removed from the riparian forest in the old mouth of the Bayamon river and the east coast of the San Juan Bay, in Toa Baja. Eighty (80) young participants from the Upward Bound program of the Inter American University in Ponce were the protagonists of this initiative to improve our estuarine ecosystem. They also acquired knowledge about aquatic waste and the challenges this natural system faces in the race to restoring and preserving it. Thanks to these young people, Puerto Rico and the San Juan Bay Estuary are cleaner today.






Fish Survey in our artificial modules and mangrove planting project, 7.9.2016:
Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Ivangs Rivera, MSc, led a group of six (6) volunteers in another successful fish survey at the Condado Lagoon. The activity was conducted during 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.. Three locations that included an area of ​​sand, seagrasses and artificial modules were studied. During the activity approximately 20 species of fish including lionfish were identified. You can see more images in our Instagram account: @estuariosanjuan and an amazing video filmed by Ivangs Rivera, posted in our Facebook page: Ciudad de Las Aguas.





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Green Flag for the Condado Lagoon
This week we monitored the Condado Lagoon as part of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve Enterococcus Monitoring Project. On average the reserve meet the federal standard of 35CFU/100mL reporting a total of 1.78(CFU/100mL),
Consult data: