Friday, July 29, 2011

Scientific illustrations for the SJBEP; Over $500k in media leverage; Raw sewage overflow; 16k cigarette butts picked up at Ocean Park

Our update for July 15 to July 31, 2011, is as follows:

30 original scientific illustrations created for the SJBEP: Last Thursday, July 21st, 2011, Puerto Rico’s only certified scientific illustrator, Adriana Ocaña, delivered to Javier Laureano 30 full-color, hand-drawn illustrations commissioned by the SJBEP for our ecological alphabetization campaign. The illustrations of different species of fauna and flora representative of the SJBE’s ecosystem will be placed along the 1.5 miles of Martí Coll Lineal Park, in Hato Rey, as part of our new educational exhibit. Also, her designs will illustrate our upcoming coloring book on the importance of the Estuary.

The SJBEP surpasses half-a-million dollars in leverage for the first part of 2011: The numbers are in, and we are proud to announce that for the first part of the year 2011 the SJBEP has managed to obtain $509,225.36 in leverage. Our strong presence in the media is the result of a combined effort including several public service campaigns, the publication of various articles written by members of our staff, radio and television interviews, and media coverage of the SJBEP’s initiatives.

Raw sewage overflow in the Condado Lagoon: On July 29th, 2011, our Water Quality Program Coordinator, Ernesto Olivares, reported raw sewage overflow on the northern fringe of the Condado Lagoon. People from the community contacted local authorities due to the strong presence of raw sewage odors.

16,000 cigarette butts picked up in the Student Chapter of the Marine Environment Society’s Ocean Park cleanup: On July 23rd, 2011, the Student Chapter of the Marine Environment Society (CESAM, for its Spanish acronym) carried out a coastal cleanup in Ocean Park Beach. They targeted cigarette butts buried in the sand and were able to pick up 16,000 of them. A total of 104 volunteer took part in the cleanup.

SJBEP’s license plate sent to 78 municipalities, and federal agencies: In the first week of July, the Governor of Puerto Rico evaluated and approved the new design of the SJBEP’s license plate. The design, showcasing a manatee, was sent to the Island’s 78 municipalities and their police agencies, including the FBI, for registration. The job has already been placed with the Department of Correction, and is on its way to its final stage of fabrication.

Guided tour for the winners of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl: Last Wednesday, July 20th, 2011, our Water Quality Program coordinator, Ernesto Olivares, offered a guided tour to winners of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl from Marshfield High School. The trip took place in the Corozos, San José, and Torecillas lagoons. The students received a comprehensive explanation of the basic tools utilized in standard water quality inspections, and later they were able to assess water quality for themselves in three different stations of the SJBE.

EPA’s conference on citizen involvement: From the 18th to the 22nd of July, our outreach coordinator, Gladys Rivera, attended a seminar hosted by the EPA on special topics regarding citizen participation. Some of the key issues dealt with the workings of communicating ecological vulnerability and/or an environmental crisis to members of a given community.

Proposals for the upcoming SJBEP library catalogue: During the month of July we received several proposals for the elaboration of a digital catalogue for the SJBEP’s scientific library. The catalogue will be a useful tool that will help to make our bibliographic resources more accessible to the public. Some of the specialized books in the SJBEP’s library cannot be found anywhere else in Puerto Rico.

“Cool Cities Manual” climate change publication: On July 29th we received the Cool Cities Manual. The manual will be printed as part of our collaboration with the Cool Cities Coalition’s climate change campaign.

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