Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our highlights for April 2014.

 Diesel spill in the Condado Lagoon was detected in the afternoon of April 15, 2014. The source of the diesel was quickly identified and eventually contained. 

 The areas around the Condado Lagoon were cleaned every Friday during the month of April.

 Glass bottles are perhaps the most common type of debris cleaned from the water.

 Our special thanks to this group of volunteer for all their work!

Gladys Rivera explains the methods to monitor water quality to the volunteer leaders.

Gladys Rivera, the coordinator of the island-wide event.

A look at the colorimetric legend of water quality measurement kits provided to all volunteer groups.  

 SJBE resident, the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) hunts for a meal.

Our Executive Director, Dr. Javier Laureano, during the monitoring effort in the San Juan Bay

SJBEP Volunteer Laura Roldán gathers water for the pH measurement.

Diesel spill in the Condado lagoon. On the afternoon of April 15, a diesel spill was noticed in the Condado Lagoon. A local resident raised the alarm about the spill to the SJBEP. Water quality monitoring coordinator Ernesto Olivares, and marine debris specialist Cristina Ramírez, did a great job at identifying the point source of the spill to avoid further contamination and proceed to the mitigation of the spilled material, which began immediately.

Meeting of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Research Reserve co-management commission. On May 1st, 2014 the co-management commission of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Research Reserve met for the third time. During this very productive meeting we discussed the progress of the Reserve's Management Plan, the follow-up of the diesel spill and other recent spills with the Environmental Quality Board, the beginning of the new water quality monitoring efforts and the use of long row boats in the lagoon. 

Executive Director, Dr. Javier Laureano, spoke about billboards to the San Juan municipal legislature. The high concentration of billboards and other publicity in public roads of San Juan is matter of concern to all of us. On April 21, our Executive Director (also a resident of San Juan) spoke to the San Juan municipal legislature about the issue of excessive publicity and the concerns it raises for public health. Specifically, the issue discussed was the establishment of several lighted billboards along the Ashford Avenue in Condado, an important avenue that abuts the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve.  

Coastal clean-up at the Condado Lagoon. During the month of April 2014, the shorelines of the Condado Lagoon were cleaned every Friday by a group of selected volunteers. The clean-up activities were coordinated by Cristina Ramírez, who is in charge of the project "The Condado Lagoon is my home" funded by NOAA. As you can appreciate in the pictures, every Friday there was enough trash to fill several bags. This is why it is important to establish a solid waste management plan that takes into consideration the large amounts of trash that becomes marine debris.

Puerto Rico Water Quality Monitoring Day. Gladys Rivera, our Citizen Science and Public Participation Coordinator, worked hard to train volunteer leaders that in turn managed volunteer groups during the Puerto Rico Water Quality Monitoring Day, which occurred Saturday April 26, 2014. This is an island wide effort to gather data about the quality of our water bodies, including rivers, lagoons and beaches. 
During the PR Water Quality Monitoring Day, over 1,000 volunteers monitored the quality of Puerto Rico's waters at 150 different sites around the island. This is part of a world-wide effort to gather data on water quality using citizen scientist efforts. This is the 6th year the SJBEP coordinates this event, and there are still many groups gathering data around the island. The data collected by our volunteers will be uploaded and become part of global data set: check out this link!

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