Pictures: Jonathan Perez, from the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center (a partner of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program), is serving for two months on the ‘Manatus senegalensis’ rehabilitation project in Gabon, Africa; This week dozens of aquatic scientists took guided technical trips to the ecosystem.
Our weekly update for February 12-February 19, 2011 is as follows:
1) Aquatic scientists from around the world on technical trips to the San Juan Bay Estuary: As part of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Conference in Puerto Rico, dozens of aquatic scientists from around the world took guided technical trips to the eastern axis of the San Juan Bay Estuary. The scientists offered written comments on our restoration efforts and water quality improvement, and shared information on several issues, such as pathogens, sedimentation, erosion, and climate change. The trips were offered by a community-based ecotourism initiative called “Excursiones ECO” (“ECO Tours”), owned by a young woman, Melba Ayala. Ernesto Olivares and Jorge Bauzá coordinated the effort.
2) SJBEP at EPA’s Administrative and Environmental Law and Practice Training: Our coral reef restoration initiative’s video and a continuous Power-Point presentation during coffee breaks were presented during this key conference. EPA Region 2 Office of Regional Counsel, San Juan Office, and the Office of Administrative Law Judges from DC sponsored the conference. Among the participants were the Environmental Quality Board’s President as well as environmental lawyers and judges. We thank Evelyn Huertas and Héctor Vélez for showcasing the work we are doing during such an important occasion.
3) Meeting with ENLACE representatives: As part of our CCMP revision and an update to our Tracking System, Javier Laureano and José Enrique Rodríguez from the SJBEP met with Lyvia Rodríguez and Katia Avilés from ENLACE. This was a very productive meeting, at which ENLACE representatives offered an update of their CCMP implementation process and emphasized the importance of including new public health, economic development, and environmental justice actions in our CCMP revision process. The meeting took place at ENLACE on February 17, 2011.
4) Community scare on the San Juan Ecological Corridor: Community representatives have been calling our office to inform us of a new bill (PS 1919) that, according to the representatives, could dismantle this 1,000-acres nature reserve in the heart of the san Juan Bay Estuary’s watershed. Next week we will be asking our stakeholders for more information about this issue.
5) Meeting with Cantera community representatives: As part of our next year’s Work Plan and Tracking System update, Javier Laureano and José Enrique Rodríguez met with Cantera community representatives to discuss the CCMP actions they have been implementing, as well as the new initiative that will begin during FY 2011. We began a conversation on the dredging of the Guachinanga island channel to improve water quality on the eastern axis of the San José Lagoon, and obtained access to valuable CCMP implementation reports and pictures.
6) Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) contributes to the SJBEP’s CCMP update and Tracking System: Brenda González and José Estrella from SWMA offered key information on their pollution prevention and oil and tire recycling projects within the San Juan Bay Estuary’s watershed. The meeting took place at SWMA on February 16, 2011.
7) Total promotional success for our “Trees and Plants to Touch Workshop”: The first of a new series of workshops offered by the San Juan Bay Estuary Program reached its total capacity on the first day of its announcement. We are completing a waiting list to offer it on an additional date. Our “Trees and Plants to Touch Workshop” will follow a ‘brown bag lunch’ format taking place on February 24, 2011, at our office, from 12:10pm to 12:40pm.
8) PRASA’s Martha Rivera has retired!: Our friend, colleague and member of our Board of Directors, Martha Rivera, retired from the Puerto Rico Sewer and Aqueduct Authority. We wish her a very productive and happy “retirement.” (Got you, Martha! We know you are already working with several environmental initiatives all over the island and throughout Latin America. And we know we will see you very soon!)
9) Our partner on manatee rehabilitation reports from Gabon, Africa: Jonathan Perez, a graduate student who works at the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center, is currently serving for two months on the ‘Manatus senegalensis’ rehabilitation project in Gabon, Africa, as part of the Center’s international cooperation initiatives on manatee conservation and rehabilitation. We congratulate our dear partner Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni, PhD, for the wonderful work he’s doing at the Center. Enjoy the beautiful photos from Gabon.
SAVE THE DATE:
February 21-23, 2011- Monitoring events for certified volunteers. Call for info. at 787 725 8165 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
February 24, 2011 at 12:10pm- Plants at Trees to Touch Workshop- 1225 Ponce de León Avenue, Office 902, San Juan- FULL- Currently completing a waiting list to offer the workshop on another date-.
February 26, 2011 at 9:00am- Planting at the Cucharillas Marsh with our partner Corredor del Yaguazo.
February 26, 2011 at 7:00pm- Estuary's Cinema at the Jaime Benítez Park: