Pictures: Cleanup and planting event with MillerCoors employees; SJBEP receives a donation of $5,000 from the corporation; Old Navy employees working in the Piñones Forest; Eutrophication event in the San José Lagoon.
Our highlights for October 1 to October 15, 2011 are as follow:
1) Martín Peña Recicla strengthens its recycling capacity thanks to SJBEP’s support: In December of 2010, the SJBEP contracted a carrier to help the community-based organization “Martín Peña Recicla” to pick up recyclables from homes and transport them to recycling businesses.
This week we are proud to say that we received a report from the organization detailing the amount of material recycled each month of its fiscal year, from October, 2010, to September, 2011. We can gladly announce that our support helped the organization strengthen its carrying capacity, almost doubling it.
2) Successful cleanup, planting, and monitoring activity in la Esperanza islet: For the last six years, the SJBEP has conducted its annual cleanup of the islet of la Esperanza. On Saturday, October 1st, 2011, we managed to clean up most of the garbage accumulated on the islet over the previous year, with the help of Corredor del Yaguazo and MillerCoors employees. Volunteers monitored water quality parameters and planted various species of coastal trees, such as sea grapes and white mangrove. The event was covered by local newspaper Primera Hora and served as the headlining story for our very first edition of Estuario TV.
Special thanks to MillerCoors for helping us fund this enterprise and to all the volunteers who donated their time and energy to help make this activity a great success.
3) Meeting with the Office of the Governor to present the Condado Lagoon seagrass restoration project: Last Wednesday, October 5th, the SJBEP’s Executive Director, Javier Laureano, Dr. Jorge Bauzá, and contractor Fernando Pagés Rangel from TetraTech met with the Governor’s Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure Advisor in La Fortaleza. The purpose of the meeting was to present the results of the studies and design of the project to fill the artificial depressions and restore the seagrass bed of the Condado Lagoon.
4) New plant nursery at Piñones Natural Reserve thanks to the work of Old Navy Stores Employees: In October 5, 2011, fifty-three employees of Old Navy stores of Puerto Rico participated in this event in which a new plant nursery was created. This plant nursery will serve as a working area for the community, students, and volunteers of the SJBE to plant seeds from Cobana Negra and mangrove trees. Cobana Negra is a native endangered tree found only in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and one adult tree is found in this forest. Volunteers also planted Cobana Negra and Emajaguilla trees in the area. We want to thank Herminio Díaz, Biologist from the DRNA, who is responsible for the Piñones Reserve, for his collaboration with Gladys Rivera for the event.
5) 4H Group Ready for a sub-aquatic cleanup at artificial reef restoration site: An enthusiastic group of participants from 4H Clubs in Cataño received an educational talk by Gladys Rivera and Jorge Bauzá in preparation for the 1st sub-aquatic cleanup activity by this group with the SJBE. Given the importance of this event for the conservation of the artificial reefs of the Condado Lagoon, special emphasis was given by Dr. Bauzá to the understanding of coral reefs restoration.
6) Corporación Enlace and Barrio Obrero area school to join Guardianes del Estuario School Water Quality Monitoring Project: As part of SJBEP’s collaborative efforts with Corporación Enlace, they identify a school in the Caño Martín Peña area that will join Guardianes del Estuario. The Ernesto Ramos Antonini School is a public school located in Barrio Obrero. On October 11th, Gladys Rivera met with teacher Ricardo Herrera and Roberto Morales from Enlace to introduce the project and coordinate an educational talk for the students that will be held on October 18. We thank Enlace for their interest in adopting this initiative as part of their environmental educational effort in their communities.
7) Harmful algae blooming in the San José Lagoon: Last week, our Water Quality Program Coordinator, Ernesto Olivares, registered a harmful algae blooming on the San José Lagoon. An episode such as this is known as eutrophication and it is indicative of a high content of nutrients, such as nitrites and phosphates, most likely due to a non-point source of pollution.
8) SJBEP serves as point of contact between schools for the development of vegetable gardens: On Monday, October 4th, 2011, Javier Laureano held a meeting in Central High School’s Vegetable Garden as a first step for the development of a garden at Saint John’s School. Héctor Rivera, horticultural expert from the USDA, was present at the meeting and offered his insight on the project’s feasibility. The initiative forms part of SJBEP’s effort to develop an efficient cooperative of school and urban gardens.
9) SJBEP launches Estuary Television: We are proud to announce that the SJBEP has officially launched its very own T.V. channel on Youtube.com. Through it we will broadcast videos reporting on the SJBEP’s latest endeavors and undertakings, as well as other educational material. Click on the following link to access Estuario TV’s homepage:
10) Estuary’s Cinema presented “Cocoon”: Last Saturday, October 8th, 2011, Estuary’s Cinema screened yet another edition of its open air cinema by the Condado Lagoon. This time we presented Ron Howard’s sci-fi classic “Cocoon.” The film was preceded by the official launching of Estuario TV.
Save the date:
In Puerto Rico we have lost 90% of our sand dunes, a key resource that helps protects the island from coastal erosion, storm surges, and even tsunamis. Next Saturday, October 22, at 9:00 am, at Piñones State Park, help us preserve the ones we have left. Please volunteer.
Click on the following link to view the SJBEP’s calendar of activities for the month of October: http://estuario.org/calendario.php