Friday, February 17, 2012

Collaborative agreement for Guachinanga; Stormwater sewage Bayamón; Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment; Cruise Passenger Donations Program

Pictures: Educational markers placed in stormwater sewage of the Bayamón municipality.

Our update for February 10, 2012 to February 17, 2012 is as follows:


1) Collaborative agreement signed for the restoration of the Guachinanga carsic island, a $220k investment: This week the Company for the Comprehensive Restoration of Cantera, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources signed a collaborative agreement to complete the cleanup and dredging of a segment of this beautiful carsic island. Cantera and the SJBEP will provide the funds to complete the project while the DNER will provide technical assistance.

2) Educational markers placed in stormwater sewage of the Bayamón municipality: As part of our ongoing stormwater pollution prevention campaign, on February 16, 2012, Gladys Rivera trained sixteen students who then distributed educational materials to businesses and the public and placed educational markers on stormwaters. The event took place in the heart of the municipality.

3) First RFP meeting for Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Our Program will deploy three radar water level sensors in the SJBE. These sensors will help us to assess the ecological vulnerability of the SJBE to global climate change and identify adaptation alternatives. Last Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Jorge Bauzá conducted a meeting with nine firms interested in submitting proposals for the assessment.

4) Our Special Fund in action: Cruise Passenger Donations Program: On February 16, 2012, the Corporation for the Conservation of the SJBE contracted Berliz Morales and Darío Morales for the design and implementation of our Cruise Passenger Donations Program. This is the first time a philanthropic project like this takes place on the island. We will provide more information as the initiative develops.

5) SJBEP’s Dr. Bauzá as speaker at Climate Change Caribbean Summit: Twelve (12) Caribbean countries met from February 1-3 in Mayagüez, PR, to discuss the impacts of climate change in our region. Dr. Bauzá presented the conference “Initiatives to turn the San Juan Bay Estuary into a Climate Ready Estuary.” The National Science Foundation’s Coastal Area Climate Change Education Partnership (CACCE) and the Center for Hemispherical Cooperation in Research and Education in Engineering and Applied Sciences (CoHemis) coordinated the event.


6) Meeting of the Board of Directors: The Board of the Corporation for the Corporation of the SJBE met last Monday, February 13, 2012, at the McConnell Valdés offices. We want to thank María de Lourdes Jiménez, Pedro A. Gelabert, Brenda Torres, Carlos Fernández Lugo, and William Thon for their continuous support and guidance.

7) Work Plan designed hand-in-hand with the community – Student promotes the restoration of the Blasina Lagoon and Estuary Guardians teachers to propose activities: Laura Roldán, student and leader in her community in Carolina, coordinated a site visit with our Program to share her concerns and to propose recommendations for the restoration of this lagoon. Also, during a very productive networking and planning meeting held with the teachers of our Estuary Guardians initiative on January 19, 2012, the teachers discussed several projects that they will be submitting for our next year’s Work Plan.

8) Visual Arts students to create educational exhibit: Students from the Central High of Visual Arts in Santurce are creating wood engravings with images of the SJBE’s ecosystem and will print them as part of an educational exhibit. Gladys Rivera offered the students an educational talk and will guide them in a boat tour.

9) Environmental Justice community school joins our monitoring project: On January 13, 2012, the Onofre Carballeira public school of the Cataño municipality signed the Participation Agreement to join the Estuary Guardians. This school receives kids from low-income communities located just in front of the western axis of the San Juan Bay.

10) Our community leaders in action: We want to thank leaders Laura Roldán, Diana Ferro, RJ de Pedro, Ivan Rivera, Jeffry Rivera, and Eneilis Mulero for their support and participation during this month’s activities.

11) Educational talk to fishermen: Dr. Bauzá offered a talk to 20 fishermen of the “Sociedad de Pesca y Recreación Marina” on January 21, 2012, at the DNER. Fishermen are our own eyes in the ecosystem and an integral part of the restoration of the San Juan Bay Estuary.


Fishing Bats at the Estuary! Are you interested in joining as a volunteer to help in a Fishing Bat census? Join the collaborative project Noctilio by Workshop on February 18, 2012, at Santa Ana Environmental Center Facilities. Fishing bats are an emblematic symbol of the connection among the estuary and the forest (Santa Ana). [Inscriptions are now closed]

Friday, February 10, 2012

Isla de Cabras cleanup; Car sank in the Condado Lagoon; Iguana iguana; Isla Verde marine reserve; San Antón creek; new contracts

Pictures: Isla de Cabras cleanup

Our update for January 14 to February 9, 2012, is as follows:

1) Successful cleanup event in the San Juan Bay, Isla de Cabras; great media coverage: On February 4, 2012, from 9:00am to 12:00pm, a group of 73 volunteers organized by our Outreach Coordinator, Gladys Rivera, cleaned up over 1,200 pounds of debris from this axis of the Bay. Kudos to our volunteers and Gladys! The activity received ample media coverage in the main newspaper of the island, El Nuevo Día. We also congratulate José Enrique Rodríguez, our communications assistant, for his efforts in reaching out to the media and giving the activity island-wide visibility.

2) San Juan Bay Estuary Program quoted in media article of Condado Lagoon car accident: On February 4, 2012, an auto sank in the Condado Lagoon. El Nuevo Día consulted our organization regarding the potential environmental hazards of the accident:

3) SJBEP quoted nationally on the local plans to kill and export Iguana meat: Currently there is a local frenzy (in part generated by misleading information on the Iguana iguana species) to kill and export the meat of the Iguana iguana. The Associated Press interviewed the SJBEP and the coverage went national:

4) SJBEP in public hearing regarding designation of Isla Verde marine reserve (PC 3721): On February 2, 2012, our organization offered a presentation in favor of the Isla Verde marine reserve. Our viewpoint was taken into consideration by the local media report on the public hearing:

5) SJBEP joins intergovernmental initiative to clean the San Antón creek: The San Antón creek is one of the main sources of fresh water carried into the San José Lagoon. On February 9, 2012, Dr. Javier Laureano participated in a public hearing regarding the San Antón cleanup, presided by House Representative Ángel L. Bulerín Ramos. The municipal governments of Carolina and San Juan will clean 1,800 linear meters of debris, aquatic weeds, and sediments.

6) New contractors for our library and CCMP Tracking: We welcome to our estuarine team Betzaida Ortiz, María Rodríguez, and Manuel Aponte. Ortiz will collaborate as CCMP Tracking Coordinator, and Rodríguez with Aponte as librarians to organize and create an online catalog of our Pedro Antonio Gelabert Estuarine Library. ¡Bienvenidos!

7) Talk to Evertec employees: Evertec is the main electronic transactions processing company of the Island. On January 25, 2012, volunteer Diana Ferro and Dr. Javier Laureano offered a talk to Evertec employees.

8) SJBEP participates in a special hearing session of the National Ocean Council: Dr. Jorge Bauzá represented the SJBEP on February 8, 2012, in this special session to discuss President Obama’s National Ocean Policy.

9) Regular meetings with President Andrés Salas Soler, Esq.: The Executive Director of the SJBEP has been meeting regularly with President Salas Soler regarding the implementation of this year’s Work Plan and key issues of the organization.

10) Estuary’s Cinema against all odds: For unknown reasons the Condado Lagoon Park has been without power for over a month. We were able to use the power plant of a special events concessionary to plug in our Estuary Cinema equipment. On January 28, 2012, we began this year’s screening with over 150 attendees.