Saturday, February 12, 2011

ASLO Conference; New coral colonies; Special Fund; UPR class on the SJBE; TV interviews

Pictures: new coral colonies at our reef trail in the Condado Lagoon.

Our weekly update for February 5, 2011 to February 12, 2011 is as follows:

1) Media coverage: Hundreds of aquatic scientists in Puerto Rico for ASLO conference, sponsored in part by the SJBEP- The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography is conducting their conference “Limnology and Oceanography in a Changing World” in the Puerto Rico Convention Center beginning this Saturday. We are very proud of the work done by our Scientific Advisor, oceanographer Dr. Jorge Bauzá, and of the leading role he has taken in the coordination of this international conference.

Our press release announcing the meeting was published by leading local and international news media:>

2) Status of the SJBEP’s Special Fund: our license plate was approved and sent to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. Media coverage on donations through tax return forms: This week, the agency in charge of producing local license plates (DISCO) sent the approved art for our special license plate to the Secretary of the agency in order to produce the first 5,000 license plates. The license plates will be available by the month of April, 2011, through the CESCOs of the island for only $30.00. Of this donation, we will receive $20 for the Special Fund of the San Juan Bay Estuary.

El Nuevo Día newspaper published our press release to promote the alternative of donating funds to our organization through this year's tax return forms:

3) 1,250 new coral colonies at our artificial reef: We are very proud to communicate that oceanographer Héctor Ruiz has accounted for 1,250 new coral colonies in our artificial reef trail at the Condado Lagoon. The 800 lb. structures were deployed on December 23, 2008, and in such a short period of time we are witnessing a marvelous coral restoration in the area. Please refer to the photos of the colonies, which are unique in our urban environment.

4) TV Interviews: Javier Laureano was interviewed by Univision reporter Susan Soltero to promote our activities, and to explain to the public the dredging activities going on the Río Piedras river, and the flood mitigation project at the Margarita Canal. The interviews were aired live on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 6:45am and 7:50am, with a recorded version aired at noon. Telemundo reporter Sylvia Gómez interviewed Laureano and Dr. Bauzá on the restoration of the Condado Lagoon, and the interview aired on the same day (February 9) on the highly-rated 5:00pm news.

5) University-level class on the San Juan Bay Estuary: Javier Laureano is offering an ad honorem undergraduate course this semester, devoted exclusively to examining the San Juan Bay Estuary urban ecosystem from a humanistic approach. Students will focus their research on topics such as aquatic debris, oral history, urban water, and literature, among other subjects. The course, entitled “City and Ecology: The Bioregional Perspective of the San Juan Bay Estuary,” is being presented as part of the offerings of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Puerto Rico, Humanities Faculty, Rio Piedras Campus.

6) Key meeting held with researchers from the Institute of Neurobiology of the University of Puerto Rico: The San Juan Bay Estuary Program will partner with the Institute of Neurobiology to help them compete for a National Science Foundation grant to study novel contaminants, such as endocrine disruptors, and their effect upon SJBE’s biota. Dr. Jorge Bauzá and Javier Laureano met with the following researchers to discuss the initiative: Dr. Steve Treistman, Director, Institute of Neurobiology, UPR Medical Sciences; Dr. Mark W. Miller, Associate Director, Institute of Neurobiology, UPR Medical Sciences; Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, Assistant Professor, Institute of Neurobiology, UPR Medical Sciences; and Dr. Loretta Roberson, Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences Program, UPR Río Piedras.

7) Melaleuca stand maintenance proposal granted to contractor: Ambienta Inc, a small, successful environmental firm in Puerto Rico, was selected from among three (3) proposals to perform the maintenance and control of the invasive Melaleuca in the Canal Suárez wetland.


Estuary’s Cinema: We will screen the movie “Anna and The King” on Saturday, February 12, 2011, at 7:00pm in the Jaime Benítez Condado Lagoon Park.

ASLO Conference:

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