Pictures: a) EPA Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck, visiting the Juana Matos Community Greenhouse, a key component of this community-based wetland restoration initiative. b) Judith Enck examining the Juana Matos community's stormwater system. c) Enck visiting the La Esperanza Peninsula with community leader Rosa Hilda Ramos, a Goldman Award recipient.
Weekly update for December 5, 2010 to December 11, 2010
1) Communications contractor hired: We are pleased to announce that we have contracted Georgina Vega Porrata-Doria as our new communications contractor. Vega Porrata's twelve years of experience managing and creating public-relations and marketing campaigns for local (Puerto Rican) and international markets encompasses media ranging from print and television to special events. Georgina Vega Porrata Doria Public Relations & Marketing, LLP, clients include a diverse group of organizations that includes nonprofit organizations, such as the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC/ PR) and Festival Buena Vida, which have all expanded and enriched their business and reputation in Puerto Rico through the effective and influential use of strategic public relations and brand management.
2) SJBEP takes action to improve Barrio Obrero Marina community’s recycling program: The Barrio Obrero Marina (a low-income and inner-city community) recycling program began this year, collecting recyclables on its 14 streets. To date the project has been managed by two women from the community who collect the bulky materials in their own cars. The SJBEP included in its budget the contract of a truck driver who will help in the collection of the materials. The contractor will begin the pick-up process next week, with his own truck.
3) SJBEP coordinates Judith Enck’s visit to Cucharillas Wetland and its community leaders: EPA’s Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck, visited the Cucharillas Wetland with SJBEP personnel who presented several restoration projects and issues of the area to her. Enck met with community leaders Rosa Hilda Ramos, Pedro Carrión, the staff of the SJBEP, and our Citizen Advisory Committee’s President, Gretchen Guzmán, on Wednesday, December 8, 2010.
4) Protocol established to report sightings of Caiman crocodiles: A community meeting for the design of an educational campaign on the Caiman crocodile took place on Wednesday night. The SJBEP, Enlace Project, the DNER, and representatives of the Group of the 8 Communities of the Martín Peña Channel (G-8) met to discuss the actions needed to prevent accidents involving the Caiman crocodile. Important successes were the promise of full support from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, along with the design of a protocol to report sightings of this dangerous species. A flyer was designed by the group and will be handed out during the community’s Christmas celebration.
5) Bauza Mangrove Restoration Technique (TeReBa) is spreading out: The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources is using, in their mangrove restoration projects, a method known as TeReBA: the mangrove restoration method developed by the Scientific Advisor of the SJBEP, Dr. Jorge Bauzá. TeReBa consists of sowing four red mangrove seedlings, held together with biodegradable tape around a fixed wooden rod. This restoration technique increases the success and growth rate of mangrove seedlings in comparison with others methods. The DNER mangrove planting event using TeReBA was covered by the print media (Primera Hora and Vocero Newspapers).
6) Water Quality Improvement and Seagrass Restoration Project at Condado Lagoon: All proposals regarding this project have been evaluated by the Proposal Evaluation Committee. There will be a meeting to discuss proposals’ evaluations and final selection.
7) EPA’s 40th Anniversary: The event took place at the Inter American University on December 10, 2010, from 8:00am to 5:30pm and was a complete success, with over 500 attendees. Judith Enck highlighted EPA’s priorities for the island. Javier Laureano and Jorge Bauzá offered a presentation as part of a round table on the Martín Peña Channel.
8) Sediment toxicity and water quality monitoring: Students from the UPR’s Public Health School conducted a field sampling trip with the SJBEP to monitor several water-quality parameters (bacteriology and gasoline components) and sediment toxicity (Arsenic and Lead). Dr. Jorge Bauzá and Ernesto Olivares joined Dr. Carlos Rodríguez and his group of graduate students, and offered technical assistance to the initiative.
9) EQB provides new storage space for the SJBEP’s Water Quality Monitoring Program: This week the Environmental Quality Board began providing much needed storage space for our Monitoring Program equipment, as well as access to its lab for instrument calibration. It constitutes an in-kind gift of over $6,000 per year.
10) SJBEP at the Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership (PRRP) meeting: As part of her visit to Puerto Rico, Judith Enck met with the PRRP to discuss the reports of several committees working on composting, market development, and outreach, among others. Javier Laureano presented a public service campaign on recycling that the SJBEP will begin to place on several media outlets beginning next month.
IMPORTANT WORKSHOP - Community Vegetable Garden Creation Workshop: The SJBEP and the Huerto, Vivero y Bosque Urbano de Capetillo community group will offer a community vegetable garden creation workshop to our volunteers, stakeholders, and community leaders. The activity will take place on December 18, 2010, from 8:30am to 5:00pm. To join this marvelous community-based experience, please contact Gladys Rivera at: email@example.com
CINE DEL ESTUARIO (Estuary’s Cinema) TOMORROW!- Like every second and fourth Saturday of the month, tomorrow we will be showing a new movie, “The Queen,” for our Cine del Estuario project at the Condado Lagoon Park at 7:00pm This is a free activity for everyone.
OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS FROM DECEMBER 23, 2010, TO JANUARY 7, 2011.