Friday, January 3, 2014

Top 5 projects of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program for December 2013-January 2014

1) The Condado Lagoon Declared as an Estuarine Natural Reserve

We had yet another reason to celebrate: senator José Nadal Power (from left to right) Laura Vélez, President of the Environmental Quality Board, senator Ramón Luis Nieves, Carmen Guerrero, Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and Javier Laureano, Executive Director of the SJBEP held a press conference on December 16, 2013, to announce the designation of the first Estuarine Natural Reserve recognized by the local government. 

Read some of the ample news coverage of the event following the links:     

2) Study to identify raw sewage and its link to public health in the SJBE’s watershed

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Quality Board awarded the SJBEP a State Revolving Funds grant to design and implement a study to identify critical areas of sanitary discharges along the SJBE’s watershed, and its impact on human health.  On  December the organization contracted Dr. José Seguinot Barbosa and Dr. Rubén Hernández for the public health study, Roberto Morales for geospatial analysis and mapping, and Ernesto Olivares for water quality monitoring. During the first phase of the study, these professionals will be drafting the research methodology and a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) that will be submitted to EPA during the next months. 

3) First public forum on community-based environmental activism in the San Juan Bay Estuary's watershed 

Forum Attendees
Juan Cruz speaks about Quebrada Chiclana

On December 5, 2013 the San Juan Bay Estuary Program hosted a public discussion forum about environmental activism in the communities of the estuary’s watershed. The event, which was open to the public, provided a necessary forum for community leaders to share their stories and discuss the challenges and victories they have encountered along the way. Read more:

4) ‘Estuario 360: limpia, siembra y monitorea’, a citizen science and restoration event

Gustavo García, Julio Vallejo and Némesis Alejandra Ortiz
On December 7, 2013 the efforts of 130 volunteers in 15 locations— from Toa Baja to Loíza— were coordinated to clean important waterways, plant native trees and gather samples for water quality measurements. 

Alberto Rodríguez, left, and Manuel Sanfiorenzo volunteer in Rio Piedras
We are now getting ready for the next “Estuario 360” event, which will occur on March 1st, 2014. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and help conserve the SBE by becoming a citizen scientist. 

Volunteers can sing up at this link: 

5) 19 new actions proposed for the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) of the San Juan Bay Estuary. 

In an effort to keep up with a rapidly changing environment, we are currently revising the current SJBE management plan. As part of this process, 19 new actions were included for public consideration. Some of the new initiatives include the creation of green roofs and rain gardens in the San Juan metropolitan area, perform a detailed study of the ecosystem services provided by the estuary, and identifying the precise location of waste water discharge sites. You can find a complete list of the new actions in the link below and remember that we want to know what you think! 

We will receive comments to the newly proposed actions until February 28, 2014, please follow the link to view all proposed actions:

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