Monday, October 31, 2011

Dunes; PC 1676; SJBEP Educational Exhibit; Sediment management; ANEP; Benthic restoration; Estuary Guardians

Pictures from the Piñones dunes restoration activity that took place in October 22, 2011.

Our highlights for October 16 to October 28, 2011, are as follows:

A new phase of the Piñones dunes restoration began this month – Banco Popular employees and Liga Atlética Policíaca serve as volunteers: The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the SJBEP joined efforts once more to help save the Piñones dunes. The strategy consisted of planting more than 300 coconut trees to help the dunes resist the high wind events typical of the end of the year along the Northern coast of Puerto Rico. The activity took place in October 22, 2011.

Follow the link for our EstuarioTV's coverage of the event:

We thank the Corporate Communications Department employees of Banco Popular for their support in the planting. The 300 coconut trees were available thanks to the efforts of another group of volunteers from the Liga Atlética Policíaca (Athletic League of the Police). They recovered the trees from areas of the Piñones Forest where the possibilities for growing were lessened by several factors.

PR House of Representatives votes “no” to the Senate’s version of PC 1676: This is a bill to turn the SJBEP’s Implementation Committee into a group created by law. After unanimous bipartisan approval of the bill in the House of Representatives in 2010, the Senate performed amendments to its text that were unacceptable to the House. The Senate is currently in the process of negotiating with the House to modify the bill and re-send it for approval.

SJBEP included in the redesign and rehabilitation of the Acuaexpreso Port project announced by the Governor: In a press conference held October 27, 2011, by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Hon. Luis Fortuño Burset, the Executive Director of the Maritime Transportation Authority, Ferdinand Cedeño, announced the inclusion of an educational exhibit in the new Acuaexpreso facilities. Javier Laureano, Executive Director of the SJBEP, and Evelyn Huertas, EPA’s Program Manager of the SJBEP, participated in the press conference.

Sediment management options discussed for the dredging of the Martín Peña Channel: As part of the ongoing commitment of our organization to the rehabilitation of the Martín Peña Channel and its communities, on Friday, October 14, Dr. Jorge Bauza participated in a meeting to discuss this difficult issue. It was agreed that, due to the volume of sediments, more than one disposition alternative will have to be evaluated, including a permanent upland placement site.

Thousands of readers mark “like” in response to one of our scientific educational articles: The article “The Condado Lagoon: the restoration of an aquatic urban ecosystem,” written by Jorge Bauza, was published in the Atabaey Magazine in the October-December issue. Since its release on October 17, over 2500 people have clicked the “like” icon for the article.

SJBEP present at the Association of the National Estuary Program’s Annual National Conference 2011: Cathy Ortiz and Javier Laureano participated in the conference. We congratulate Shelley Luce and the team from the Santa Monica Bay NEP for a remarkable event, which took place from October 16-20, 2011, in Los Angeles, CA.

Brown bag presentation to the University of Puerto Rico’s IGERT associates: Our Scientific Advisor offered the talk “Enhancing and monitoring the San Juan Bay Estuary: Lessons learned from an urban estuary” at the UPR on October 19, 2011. The thirty attendees consisted mostly of graduate students and faculty members related to the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT). This is part of a National Science Foundation proposal endorsed by the San Juan Bay Estuary Program and granted to the UPR.

Another important step towards the benthic (bottom) restoration of the Condado Lagoon: Representatives from the SJBEP, USACE, and the PR Ports Authority met on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, in order to discuss a cooperative agreement between the represented parties for the benthic restoration of the Condado Lagoon. The SJBEP and the USACE agreed to develop a Project Management Plan which will contain the scope of the project, project implementation description, responsible parties, and their duties. The project is scheduled for the next San Juan Harbor maintenance dredging, in 2015.

NSF awards $5 million to SJBEP-endorsed grant proposal: On September 9, 2011, the National Science Foundation awarded a five-year grant of $5,000,000 to the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus for the creation of the Puerto Rico Center for Environmental Neuroscience.

As part of the granting process, the SJBEP provided a letter of support for the project, and met several times with its proponents. The SJBEP will provide field support and technical assistance to the graduate students funded by the grant. Dr. Jorge Bauza and Ernesto Olivares met with Dr. Loretta Robertson, PI of the project, to coordinate a first field visit to collect blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus).

Estuary Guardians of Barrio Obrero understand their relationship with the Martín Peña Channel: In an interactive educational talk to twelve students, a special moment occurred when we showed them an aerial photo of the Martin Peña Channel, which the students did not recognize. For the first time they were able to understand their relationship with this water body. At the end of the talk, 100% of the students demonstrated that they had learned what an estuary is, versus only 1 person who demonstrated this knowledge at the beginning of the talk. Gladys Rivera from the SJBE and Roberto Morales from Enlace Corporation were the resources for this talk.


Trainings to become volunteers for the San Juan Bay Estuary Program:

November 2 – For persons interested in habitat restoration.

November 9 – For those interested in education and workshops.

November 17 – For people interested in water quality monitoring.

Two sections will be available each day, at 10 am and 5 pm. All training will be offered at our office. For more information please send an email to

No comments:

Post a Comment