Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Highlights for the week ending April 23rd

SJBEP’s climate change project on the news:
This week we are pleased to share with you a newspaper story published at “El Nuevo Dia" which covers our work to document community adaptation to climate change in our urban estuary. We congratulate Dr. Katia Aviles for the design and implementation of the methodology for this valuable study and Dr. Jorge Bauzá for his leadership on the issue.
Planet Earth Week-Knowledge acquisition of the estuary reaches up to 100%:
As part of our ongoing community capacity building initiative and celebrating Planet Earth Week, we continued our education activities through talks and workshops. From the 18th to 20th of April, Lourdes Hernandez, Harold Manrique ―and Americorp VISTAs Rosana Betancourt and Victoria Solero― offered educational talks and water quality monitoring workshops in Río Hondo Mall and Plaza del Sol in Bayamón, as well as in el Banco de Desarrollo Económico and the Ecological Environment Society of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. More than 300 students and general public learned about the San Juan Bay Estuary, the flora and fauna of our area, the water quality monitoring, and the importance of volunteer work. Knowledge acquisition rounded from 80% to 100%, and several groups learned for the first time what is an estuary and the importance of this ecosystem.

Climate change and stormwater curricular lessons:
We offered curricular lessons about the topic of climate change and stormwater pollution prevention to the República de Colombia and Pachín Marín Schools. Tens of students met with our Educational Manager, Javier Cardona, and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Helen Angell, and learned about the estuary, the effects of climate change and the problem of stormwater pollution in our tropical ecosystem.
Estuary Guardians School Program:
On April 20th, twenty-two (22) students from the Emiliano Figueroa School of Piñones participated of several activities offered by our VISTA volunteers Helen Angell, Rosana Betancourt, Laura Horta and Diana Ferro. Students learned about Zero Waste and participated of workshops using debris to create sculptures.  Activities in this school are part of the VISTA’s ongoing efforts towards creating environment-based economic opportunities in the community of Piñones.

Dune Restoration in Piñones Beach:
On Thursday we tested the method that we will use next week in our dune restoration project. Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, Ivangs Rivera, Zenaida Vázquez and Joselín Ramírez helped us with the project on the coastal zone of Piñones. This event is part of the Citizen Science and Dune Restoration initiatives and our Climate Ready Estuaries adaptation action plan.

Beach cleaning:
Vacía Talega beach was the scenario for this week's beach cleaning activity. Our AmeriCorps VISTA Rosana Betancourt and Diana Ferro led the students from the “Asociación Estudiantil de Salud Ambiental” (AESA) of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, in an effort to enhance our coastal environment and encourage voluntary work.
Visitor Center
Finishing our successful educational week, on Earth Day, April 22th 2016, our Visitor Center received a group of students from the School of San Juan and a multigrade group of students from the “Taller de Fotoperiodismo” at Martín García of Carolina. Both groups learned about the history of the Martín Peña Channel’s communities, the environmental and social problems in the channel and the importance of the rehabilitation of this body of water. Our Education Manager, Javier Cardona, and Water Monitoring Program Coordinator, Harold Manrique, guided educational and water monitoring tours in the fringes of the San Juan Bay and the ecosystems of the Old City. The students learned how to take and analyze water samples for parameters such as dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and turbidity.

Green Flag for the Condado Lagoon: This week, enterococcus readings for the Condado Lagoon complied with the federal standard. Here's the link to the report:

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