Pictures: Caroline White explains the components of the Harris County Flood Control District, TX; Solar-powered stormwater monitoring station at Harris County; and wetland planting nursery at Armand Bayou Nature Center, TX.
Our weekly update for November 14, 2010 to November 20, 2010 is as follow:
1) SJBEP visited an automatic stormwater sampling station: As part of the Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) 2010 Conference in Galveston, TX, Javier Laureano participated on a key technical field trip in the Harris County Flood Control District where environmental officials installed two Automatic Stormwater Sampling Stations through a contract with PBS&J. The stations are enclosed on a tailor-made structure, and use solar energy to activate it on pluvial events. The samplings include several parameters, including bacteria, and are part of a water quality enhancement wetland project. Attached please find two pictures of the stations. More info: Carolyn White, Project Manager, Stormwater Quality, Harris County Flood Control District: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) New technique for wetland planting: Also as part of the Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) Conference, the organization representative visited the Armand Bayou Nature Reserve to study the marsh restoration techniques being implemented on the wetlands prairie by volunteers. Mark Kramer, one of the two employees in charge of the restoration and maintenance of the wetlands prairie, presented the Bulrush Baskets Restoration Technique. The technique consists of the planting of wetland vegetation on an enclosed fiber and metal basket, nurtured in a nursery, and then deployed and monitored by volunteers on strategic zones of the wetland associated to the Armand Bayou. For more information please follow the link: http://www.abnc.org/ Attached please find a picture of the Bulrush Basket. For information on RAE’s Conference: http://www.estuaries.org/conference/
3) Creation of the “Puerto Rico Watershed Partnership” proposed at RAE: On a Tropical and Sub-Tropical Restoration conference at RAE, Javier Laureano proposed to several federal agencies and Puerto Rico representatives the creation of a new entity where the four federally-sponsored organizations working on watershed restoration on the island can discuss and share their achievements, challenges, and experiences. The main annual output of the Partnership will be the coordination of a workshop or seminar where the partners can offer a presentation and share their knowledge following their experiences on the implementation of their respective organization’s master plan. The four programs to be invited to the Partnership are: Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JOBANERR): http://www.nerrs.noaa.gov/Reserve.aspx?ResID=JOB (NOAA); Sea Grant at Mayaguez Bay; San Juan Bay Estuary Program: www.estuario.org (EPA) and the Río Loco Watershed Project that has as leading agency the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service: http://www.pr.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/Guanica.html The creation of the initiative’s logo is already on its way. A conference call with the four organizations, NOAA, EPA, and NRCS is being coordinated for the second week of December. Suggestions of additional partners are more than welcomed!
4) SJBEP at TMDL Conference: Dr. Jorge Bauzá is participating this week on the “TMDL 2010: Watershed Management to Improve Water Quality” on Baltimore, Maryland. For more information please follow the link: http://www.asabe.org/meetings/tmdl2010/
5) Pedro A. Gelabert on Climate Change Panel: President Pedro A. Gelabert offered the conference “The Geological Cycle of Climate Change” on November 16, 2010 as part of the “Climate Change and Biodiversity Symposium” organized by the DNER’s Coastal Zone Management Program and NOAA. The presentation will be available on our website’s Scientific Area as of tomorrow.
6) Status of bill PC 1676: Jorge Fernández Porto, Executive Director of the Senate’s Natural Resources Commission, informed Javier Laureano that the bill obtained a positive report with amendments on November 16, 2010. It was submitted to the PR House of Representatives for revision and final vote on the next legislative session that begins on January 2011. For a full tracking of the bill follow this link: http://www.oslpr.org/buscar/ and type "PC 1676" at Núm. Medida" field.
7) Estuary’s Green Cinema: The movie "Oceans" was screened at the Condado Lagoon Park on November 13, 2010 with the participation of over 200 attendees. Trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXLbQrK6cXw Before the screening a short film produced by the Puerto Rico Waterkeeper was presented and several Girls Scouts groups enjoyed a guided pedal boat trip on the Lagoon as well as an educational workshop with Gladys Rivera, our Outreach Coordinator.
8) SJBEP will participate at EPA’s 40th Anniversary: Carl A. Soderberg invited Javier Laureano to offer a presentation about the importance of the Martín Peña Channel for our CCMP implementation and ecosystem improvement at EPA’s 40th Anniversary. This very special activity will take place at the Inter American University next December 10, 2010.
9) Planting at Finca Virgina Wetland Creation and Mangrove Restoration Project- Last Monday the PR Ports Authority celebrated a mangrove and native species planting event at Finca Virginia. The SBJEP coordinated the participation of a volunteer group of 60 students from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory (Conservatorio de Música) that joined other groups. The target 1,000 trees planting target was achieved, this in addition to 4,000 mangroves planted last April 7, 2010. This is a 9-million dollars mitigation project being coordinated by PBS&J following our CCMP recommendations.
10) Community Vegetable Garden Creation Workshop- The SJBEP and Huerto, Vivero y Bosque Urbano de Capetillo community group are planning a community vegetable garden workshop at their facilities targeted to our volunteers, stakeholders and community leaders. We are coordinating the date and preparing a list of interested parties and already have 10 persons in it. To join us in this marvelous community-based experience, please contact Gladys Rivera at: email@example.com
TODAY “JUEVES DE RIO PIEDRAS”: We are proud sponsors of the “Jueves de Río Piedras” community event. As part of this monthly activity, several cultural, environmental and business organizations open their doors at night at the Río Piedras inner city neighborhood with a substantial offering of all sort of activities, including book readings, theater, activities for children, culinary expos, environmental workshops, and many others. Our Estuary’s Green Cinema will present the cartoons short film “Guardianes del Estuario” as well as several short films from young local film producers and directors beginning at 7:00pm on Plaza Robles, just in front of the Río Piedras Metro Station. We congratulate our very appreciated partner Jessabet Vivas, Esq. for the community leadership demonstrated through the organization of the monthly event.
SAVE THE DATE!! EPA’s 40th Anniversary-December 10th, 2010- The event will take place at the Inter American University on December 10, 2010 from 8am to 5:30pm. Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator, will highlight EPA’s priorities for the island. For reservations please call Mrs. Brenda Reyes at 787-977-5869
SAVE THE DATE-Mangrove Planting this Saturday-!! This Saturday, November 20, 2010 the SJBEP joins Corredor de Yaguazo community organization and Gworks in the continuation of an ongoing collaborative restoration effort to plant red, white and black mangroves at the La Esperanza barrier island in the San Juan Bay. The activity begins at 8:30am For additional information please contact Gladys Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org