Friday, September 24, 2010

$13.6M leveraged/ Eco Cantera/ New ad/ Director to offer course at UPR

This week’s highlights (September 18, 2010 to September 24, 2010) are as follow:

$13.6 million leveraged by our CCMP implementation on FY 2009-2010-
we are very glad to inform that the SJBEP was able to leverage 13.6 million dollars on the following CCMP implementation activities: new sanitary sewer for the Cantera community (6M)- CCMP action WS-1-thanks to the Corporación para el Desarrollo Integral de Cantera; Relocation of residents of the Amelia community and new sanitary sewer (3M)- CCMP action WS-3- thanks to the Municipality of Guaynabo; Cleanup of the sanitary sewer connecting Old San Juan to the Pto Nuevo Waste Water Treatment Plan (3M)- CCMP action WS-3-thanks to PRASA; Relocation of families living adjacent to the Martín Peña Channel ($720,000)-CCMP action WS-2-thanks to the Proyecto ENLACE; SJBEP’s Public Service Campaign ($730,000)- CCMP action PI-4- and Administrative support to the priority actions regarding the Martín Peña Channel restoration ($200,000)-thanks to the Proyecto ENLACE-. This leverage represents a 1:13 ratio of investment for every federal dollar under CWA 320.

TOMORROW (25/9/2010)-Cleanup/ Water quality monitoring and planting:
from 9:00am to 11:00 we will be planting, performing water quality monitoring and a cleanup event at the western axis of the San Juan Bay- La Esperanza- with MillerCoors employees and executives. Jorge Bauzá will lead a water quality monitoring event, Gabriel Muriente is coordinating the planting, and community leader Pedro Carrión is helping with the coordination of the activity.

TOMORROW (25/9/2010)- Estuary’s Green Cinema- like every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, we will be screening a movie and our educational ads and documentaries. This time we will present the movie Wall E (2008):

TV Interview at Univision:
Javier Laureano was interviewed by Susan Soltero on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 to promote next week’s State of the Bay Conference and Report and show to the public the new signs for manatee crossing in the San Juan Bay.

SJBEP to participate at El Nuevo Día's roundtable on environmental issues: The SJBEP was invited by executives of El Nuevo Día newspaper to participate at their Environmental Roundtables Series as the representative of environmental NGO’s of the island on October. The roundtable is titled “Diálogo transectorial del medio ambiente”.

Caimito sign ready! Community leader Haydée Colón approached our organization a year ago to place a sign in her community to inform the public that Caimito is an integral part of the SJBE’s watershed and that the trash, sediment and contaminants of the area can reach the San Juan Bay through the community’s creeks and river. This week we finished the design of the sign and authorized its production.

UPR to offer an interdisciplinary course on the San Juan Bay Estuary: Javier Laureano was invited by the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program of the Faculty of Humanities, Dr. Lowell Fiet, to offer a course with a humanistic approach on the San Juan Bay Estuary. Laureano will offer the course Ad Honorem and will follow a bioregional view to study the SJBE’s communities, and will use texts such as Mike Carr’s Bioregionalism and Civil Society; Timothy Beatly’s The Ecology of Place; and Kirkpatrick Sale’s The Human Scale, among several others. Students will work exploring case studies where a bioregional vision is used as part of civil and community organizations programs in our watershed. A proposal will be submitted to the Puerto Rico Foundation for the Humanities to publish this research in a volume on the bioregional perspective offered by the SJBE.

Eco Cantera documentary on its final editing stages: On Tuesday, September 21, 2010 the staff met with producer Carla Cavina Meléndez to discuss the final editing of the Cantera documentary about its new sanitary sewer. The documentary is titled Eco Cantera and will be completed next week.

New public service ad on the SJBEP-Walgreens and Univision alliance- During this month Univision is placing a PSA ad on our alliance and the cleanup activity at the La Esperanza island as part of their “Good People Campaign”/ “Gente Buena”.

SAVE THE DATE!- September 28, 2010 at 8:00AM- State of the San Juan Bay Estuary 2010 Conference- San Gerónimo Ball Room C- please confirm attendance with Cathy Ortiz at 787 602 6202.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Filling of Cucharillas/ Planting at Chiclana/ Scientific Focus Group

Weekly update for September 11, 2010 to September 17, 2010:

A section of the Cucharillas wetland filled with residential garbage:
The SJBEP staff met with community representatives from the area to discuss the filling of a section of the wetland adjacent to the Laguna Secreta (Secret Lagoon) with what seems to be the product of construction debris and residential garbage collection. The complaint was reported to EPA, to the United Stated Justice Department and to the United States Corps of Engineers. The case is now under investigation.

Chiclana filling:
On a similar note, Roberto Ayala, EQB’s Water Director, informed Javier Laureano that an investigation related to the issue of the Chiclana creek filling with construction debris and sediments is in course.

Successful planting event at the Chiclana Creek: Twenty-four (24) volunteers, mostly students, participated in this marvelous planting event at the restoration site of the Chiclana Creek last Saturday, September 11, 2010. Juan Cruz, one of the local community leaders, welcomed the group in his property near the creek and shared with them the history of the area and how the community was able to protect it even after it was impacted by the Montehiedra developers. Students from a nearby school and members of our Estuary Guardians Water Quality Monitoring School Project, participated in the planting event in the morning as part of their monthly field trip event. Please, refer to attached photos.

First of a series of community meetings for a much needed Caiman orientation campaign: Community leaders of G8, Enlace Project, Corporación Cantera and individual citizens participated in a meeting last Tuesday, September 14 at the Enlace Martin Peña facilities. SJBEP’s contractor Dr. Rafael Joglar, Jorge Bauzá and Gladys Rivera participated in the meeting. Actions plan for education activities regarding the species were established. This was the first of several meetings to be performed due to frequent sightings of this reptile on the Martín Peña communities.

Estuary’s Green Cinema a complete success
: Over 150 persons attended the screening of 500 Days of Summer at the Condado Lagoon Park last Saturday, September 11, 2010. Prior to the movie we screened our climate change public campaign as well as the artificial coral reef and red mangrove restoration projects documentaries.

Scientific Focus Group on Coastal Studies: Jorge Bauza participated as an invited expert for the focus group discussion: “Research and Information Needs for Innovative Marine and Coastal Studies in the Caribbean” on Thursday, September 16, 2010. The focus group was an open discussion between local marine and coastal experts to identify future needs and priorities regarding watersheds, marine and coastal resources conservation and management. The focus group was sponsored by the Sea Grant College Program.

MillerCoors will join the SJBEP: As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Program, MillerCoors met with Javier Laureano on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 and performed a site visit to the La Esperanza island today, September 17, 2010 to discuss their support of our cleanup program. On September 25, 2010 employees of the company and its distributor, V. Suárez, will join the organization in the celebration of the National Estuaries Day.

SAVE THE DATE!!!- Remember that next Tuesday, September 28, 2010 is a pretty big day for the SJBEP. From 8am-12pm we will present our 2010 State of the Bay Conference and Report at the Caribe Hilton Hotel.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Severe loss of dissolved oxygen/ CAC President to meet with other CAC leaders at NYC

Activities update for September 4 to 10, 2010
Severe loss of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) at the Eastern Axis of the SJBE's mixing zone: The following bodies of water are showing severe loss of their DO concentrations (4.0 mg/L desirable target): Blasina Canal (0.87 mg/L); Torrecilla Lagoon (.08 mg/L); Suarez Canal (.09 mg/L); San Anton Creek (1.24 mg/L) and San Jose Lagoon (2.95 mg/L). The Program is examining the possibility of creating an Ad Hoc Committee to discuss this recurrent situation. Dead fish were reported by contractor.
Planting at Chiclana Creek- Several volunteers have confirmed their participation for this ongoing effort to restore the riparian ecosystem of the creek. The planting event will take place on Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 8:30am to 11:00am.
Estuary’s Green Cinema-Septemeber 11, 2010- After showing our documentaries, we will screen the movie 500 Days of Summer: This week independent filmmaker Maria Jose (Majo) submitted the short film “The Edge of the Sea” to be screened during the month of November 2010. The activity takes place every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at 7pm-Condado Lagoon Park in San Juan, to your right from Carolina to San Juan as soon as you approach the Condado Lagoon in the Baldorioty de Castro Avenue.

SAVE THE DATE!!--State of the San Juan Bay Estuary conference- Will take place at the Caribe Hilton Hotel on September 28, 2010 from 8am to 12pm at the San Gerónimo Room C
CAC President will travel to NYC to meet with Judith Enck- Gretchen Guzmán, our CAC President, will be traveling during the first week of October 2010 to meet with EPA’s Regional Administrator and other CAC Presidents to discuss several issues of relevance to our communities and ecosystem.

Interviews for new contracts: We have been evaluating resumes and interviewing several candidates for contracts that will start on October 1, 2010. This includes the contract of a community person that will help the recycling project of Barrio Obrero Marina, highlighted by Judith Enck in her most recent visit to the SJBE.

MAPFRE Foundation: Finance and Bank Chair Ramón Lloveras and Javier Laureano met with Iraida Meléndez, Vice President for Social Responsibility for MAPFRE-PR and discussed several habitat restoration and community-based projects.

Meeting at EPA-Chiclana filling complaint- The meeting took place on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 with representatives from the community, EPA, USACE, EQB and the SJBEP. EQB will follow-up the complaint. Community representatives were most grateful for our efforts to further the solution of the situation.

CCMP Awards ceremony/ House Resolution- House Representative Hon. Nuno López will draft a House Resolution to congratulate the Program on the special occasion of the 10th Anniversary of its CCMP publication.

Scientific Presentation- Our Scientific Advisor, Dr. Jorge Bauzá, was invited by DNER to offer a presentation on its Global Change and Biodiversity Symposium. His conference will focus on sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in mangrove forests. The activity will take place on November 16 and 17, 2010.

Cantera Community Council: Gladys Rivera, our Outreach Coordinator, met with community representatives to further develop our alliance with this Martin Peña Channel community for the development of educational activities, such as the screening of documentaries, and habitat enhancement through planting and cleanups.
For more info. please refer to our website or call Cathy Ortiz at 787 602 6202