Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Update for August 16, 2011 to September 6, 2011

Sanitary overflow corrected after SJBEP's filed complaint; Capetillo Urban Forest devastated by Hurricane Irene; Trash overflow in the Condado Lagoon cleaned after SJBEP's asked for help; Beach impacted by sanitary overflow.

1) 1,500 Melaleuca seedlings removed from wetland restoration site before Hurricane Irene’s landfall in PR: In 2009 the SJBEP removed over 10,000 invasive species of Melaleuca quinquenervia trees from a wetland known as La Marina. Since the beginning of 2011 we have been in charge of the maintenance of the wetland and, as part of this process, our contractors from Ambiental, Inc., removed 1,500 seedlings from the site. The hurricane would have had the effect of scattering the seeds of the species into the wetland and repopulating it with Melaleuca, affecting its hydrological process.

2) Capetillo Community Urban Forest devastated by Hurricane Irene, SJBEP to contribute in restoration efforts: Jorge Bauzá, Javier Laureano, and Walter Soler visited the forest on August 30, 2011, and found that most of the trees and vegetation were down. The same day, the SJBEP met with the community representatives and communicated with the Department of Natural Resources to draft a plan to restore the forest.

Walter Soler, our contractor, began pruning and planting new species on September 7, 2011.

3) SJBEP conducts chemical water analysis after Irene to monitor impacts on water quality: From August 22 - 27, 2011, the SJBEP conducted a physical, biological, and chemical monitoring of the ecosystem to assess the impact of the storm on the SJBE. Some of the suspected affected parameters include fecal coliform, enterococus, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a.

4) Popular, Inc. to sponsor SJBEP’s educational exhibit and vegetable gardens: Our Board’s Bank and Finance Chair – Ramón Lloveras San Miguel – and Javier Laureano, met with representatives from the Banco Popular to propose an alliance for the launching of SJBEP’s educational exhibit “Unknown Species that Inhabit Our City.” As part of the proposal, both organizations will create two vegetable gardens.

Since 2003 the organization and Popular, Inc. have been in dialogue to organize an exhibit of the Estuary, and we are thankful to Carmen Lidin and Teruca Rullán for their support of this idea through the years and this rewarding conclusion for all parties.

5) Condado Lagoon Park affected by trash overflows, cleaned after SJBEP call for help: Due to its proximity to one of the best-kept estuarine bodies of water, this is a very ecologically sensitive park. In the Condado Lagoon there are frequent sightings of manatees, starfish, stingrays, and even seahorses. Since this park is in the middle of an administrative transition from the Puerto Rico Park Company to the hands of the San Juan Municipality, trash is rarely picked up and security guards have abandoned the park. Javier Laureano contacted María Batista, Sports and Recreation Director of the San Juan Municipality, and the trash was removed.

6) SJBEP files complaint for sanitary overflow affecting the Condado/Ocean Park beach: On September 6, 2011, our organization filed complaint number 41714497 to inform and request corrective action from the Puerto Rico Sewer and Aqueduct Authority on a sanitary overflow that is directly affecting the Condado/Ocean Park beach. Javier Laureano took photos of the citizens walking over the sanitary overflow in the sand.

We thank our collaborators from PRASA for eliminating the overflow within two hours from our notice to the agency.

7) Contribution from Miller/Coors Brewing Co.: The company will donate $5,000 to the SJBEP for the organization’s habitat restoration program. Executives from the corporation will deliver the check to the organization in a cleanup event to take place next October 1, 2011.

8) Key meetings with Claudia Gutiérrez, Senior Advisor to Judith Enck, EPA’s Region 2 Administrator: On September 2, 2011, Claudia Gutiérrez met with the SJBEP’s Executive Director and Evelyn Huertas to explore several projects that may benefit from EPA’s expertise and contribution. Topics included recycling in federal facilities, glassphalt, environmental education, and brownfields, among others. Camilla Fibleman from the Sierra Club and Lyvia Rodríguez from the Proyecto Enlace participated in the meetings.

9) Inauguration of the Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Language School of Carolina Municipality: Our Outreach Coordinator participated in the inauguration ceremony of the second phase of this important education center in Carolina previously known as Escuela Pa’ los Duros. This specialized school has been part of our Estuary Guardians since the beginning of the project, being one of the more active groups. We are proud to mention that scientific project posters related to water monitoring created by Estuary Guardians students, as well as portraits of water monitoring events, were included among the educational material in the classrooms. We congratulate the Carolina Municipality for this excellent initiative. http://www.primerahora.com/amplianescuelaencarolina-541695.html

10) CAC meeting: The Citizens Advisory Committee’s meeting took place on Thursday, September 1, 2011, at the Corredor del Yaguazo’s community initiative facilities, from 5pm to 8pm.

The next day, September 2, 2011, Javier Laureano met with representatives from the Residentes Unidos de Barrio Obrero Marina (RUBOMI) to discuss financial support alternatives for their community-based recycling project.

11) Kayak Fridays at the Laguna de Condado: Last Friday, September 2, 2011, the Kayak and Canoe Federation offered our citizens another great opportunity to enjoy this estuarine lagoon at night. During the event, educational flyers from the SJBE were distributed. For more information go to Facebook group "Federacion Canoa y Kayak de Puerto Rico."


September 10, 2011: The SJBEP presents the movie “Moulin Rouge” as part of Cine del Estuario. The movie will be screened at 7:00pm in the Condado Lagoon Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDw1_yV6ufM [CANCELED DUE TO TROPICAL STORM]

September 17: International Coastal Cleanup

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