Thursday, October 14, 2010

Media coverage of Caiman study/ EPA Grant arrived/ CAC Regional meeting/ IGERT Graduate students

Weekly update for October 9, 2010 to October 16, 2010

Caiman study press conference covered by all local media:
we are very proud to announce that local media, EFE News Service and Associated Press covered our press conference on our Caiman crocodile study in the San Juan Bay Estuary, please, follow the links to view electronic articles:

Dr. Jorge Bauzá and Javier Laureano were interviewed by several radio and TV stations. EFE sent the information to its Miami subsidiary and it redistributed the news to several Latin American and US media outlets. Citizens have been calling our office to receive orientation regarding the species. We want to thank our communications contractor, William Meléndez, for all his hard work to achieve this level of visibility, as well as staff members Gladys Rivera and Cathy Ortiz for all their support.

Meeting with Dr. Miguel García to discuss management alternatives of the Caiman crocodile: The SJBEP’s staff met with Dr. Miguel García, Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, to discuss the immediate actions to take on the Caiman crocodile presence at several communities of the Martín Peña Channel. The staff handed Dr. García a letter addressed to the DNER’s Secretary from community leaders and organizations (including the SJBEP) regarding this issue.

Manatee signs installed: Our graphic designer informed us that the Manatee crossing signs were installed at the San Juan Bay on the facilities of the San Juan Nautical Club area.

Our EPA Grant just arrived! Dona J. Vizian, Assistant Regional Administrator for Policy and Management at EPA-Region 2 sent our Cooperative Agreement CE 99206916-0 with an approved budget of $800,000. Thanks to this Grant we will be able to continue our restoration, research, outreach and community-based initiatives, with special emphasis on the Condado Lagoon restoration, that received an allocation of $300,000 this year. Targeted restoration activities include work at Capetillo, Barrio Obrero Marina, Isla Verde, and other communities of the watershed. Research supported by the Grant includes our Water Quality Monitoring Program. We thank EPA as well as our Resident Commissioner, Hon. Pedro Pierluisi, for his endorsement of the annual appropriation of the National Estuary Program.

Precedent-setting Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Regional meeting: Our CAC President, Gretchen Guzmán, traveled to EPA Regional HQs in New York City to meet with other CAC members and leaders. Thanks to the vision and leadership of EPA’s Regional Administrator, Judith Enck, the citizens of several National Estuary Programs from the north eastern coast were able to network, share information, and know each other.

IGERT Graduate Students in the SJBEP: Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation to the University of Puerto Rico’s Environmental Science Program, four doctoral students will work with our organization in an interdisciplinary project to study two communities of the watershed. Using an interdisciplinary approach the students will base their research on Juana Matos (Cucharillas Wetland) and Capetillo (Juan Méndez Creek’s watershed), and will compare the sanitary infrastructure of the communities, poverty, oral history, and the structure of its community leadership, among several other indicators. The students met with the SJBEP staff on Thursday, October 14, 2010. You can find more information regarding IGERT on the following link:

RFP Announcement on the Benthic Restoration of the Condado Lagoon: The organization published the RFP announcement on last Sunday’s edition of El Nuevo Día newspaper (October 10, 2010). We have been receiving calls and emails from several interested parties. The document was made public last Friday in our website:

SAVE THE DATE! Press conference to announce Eco Cantera documentary set for October 19, 2010 at 10:00am: The SJBEP is very glad to announce that the documentary on the new sanitary infrastructure of the Cantera community is ready and will make the first screening on a press conference set for October 19, 2010 at 10:00am in Cantera.

Another successful Estuary’s Green Cinema screening: Last Saturday, October 9, 2010 we presented another successful screening of our outdoor cinema experience at the Condado Lagoon Park. Over 200 persons attended the activity, where we showed the movie Twilight, as well as our educational documentaries.

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