Monday, June 13, 2016

Highlights for the week ending June 4th

Future leaders and environmental justice:
This week our Outreach Manager Gladys Rivera, offered an educational talk about the Estuary ecosystem and its importance to a group of kids aged 12 to 16, part of a Leadership Summer Camp that Banco Popular offers to their employees’ children. Most of the participants didn’t know what an Estuary was prior to the meeting, and Gladys was able to link her talk to their “word of the day,” which was “perseverance,” using the communities of the Martín Peña Channel and their ongoing battle for environmental justice as example.

Creating and learning in our Visitor Center:
School may be out, but our educational initiative is always going full speed. On June 1st, 30 students from the Cantera Community Summer Camp experienced an educational trip through the San Juan Bay, where they had the opportunity to do water monitoring, beach cleaning, and classify various types of debris and trash in the sand. They also participated in a workshop in our Visitor Center, in which our Education Manager Javier Cardona and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Helen Angell spoke about the fiddler crab, reading the tale “El Cangrejo Violinista (The Fiddler Crab)” by writer Zulma Ayes, and engaging in drawing, painting, and movement exercises based on the story.

Estuary’s Cinema: 
In the beautiful evening of June 4th, the SJBEP presented another successful screening of its open air cinema initiative at the Jaime Benitez Park of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve, with the participation of thirty two (32) moviegoers. On this occasion, we screened “Shaun the Sheep Movie.”

Yellow Flag for the Condado Lagoon:
This week we monitored the Condado Lagoon as part of the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve Enterococcus Monitoring Project. On average the reserve didn’t meet the federal standard of 35CFU/100mL reporting a total of 176.07(CFU/100mL).     For details of the results, please visit the following link:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Highlights for the week ending May 28th

Bird census:
Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers identified a new bird census' route in the community of Piñones on May 25th, 2016. Newcomer VISTA Laura Fidalgo, our Fauna Specialist, identified over 20 species during the trip, settling into this beautiful and diverse community in the process. The group documented the expedition, which is part of their environment-based economic growth initiative within Piñones.

Estuarine Water Quality Volunteer Monitoring Program:
This week, specifically May 24-27th, we held our monthly Water Quality Monitoring event. Ten volunteers cooperated with our Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Harold Manrique, sampling water from 24 monitoring stations within the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed.
Coastal Profile in Piñones Beach:
Continuing our Citizen Science and Dune Restoration initiatives, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Ivangs Rivera, MSc, led 14 other volunteers in the latest monthly beach profile in Piñones, May 28th. Beach profiles consist of measuring the dunes' heights and depressions and their distance from incoming tide, resulting in a complete terrain delineation of the area. These results are then used to track dune migration in the zone.

Green Flag for the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve:
This week’s enterococcus tests results met the federal standard of 35CFU/100mL, reporting a total of 4.16CFU/100mL. Our weekly Enterococcus Monitoring Project provides information of the average results on the monitored stations of this important Estuarine Reserve.  Data is available in the following link: