08.23.2016 New volunteer group training:
Twenty-two new volunteers became part the San Juan Bay Water Quality Monitoring Program citizen science project. The volunteers participated in an introductory water quality workshop that took place in our visitor center in Old San Juan. They were selected from a list of 60 applications and will be with us for at least 6 months. During the week of August 30th, volunteers will be participating for the first time in the water quality monitoring field trips. Our Water Quality Volunteer Monitoring Program Coordinator, Harold Manrique, and our Outreach Manager, Gladys Rivera coordinated the activity.
08.27.2016 Micro-plastic beach cleanup
Sixteen (16) volunteers from the Maria Reina Academy in Guaynabo -and their teacher Yiria Muñiz- participated in a micro-plastics collection event at the Piñones dune restoration area in Loiza. The volunteers, used the 5-Gyres Institute protocol to collect sediment samples from 12 one-meter-quadrants to identify and count plastics particles or pieces. The study covered 100 line-meters of the beach. They will analyze the samples in their classroom as part of their science course.
We are coordinating a second event in an estuarine beach to compare plastic content by square meter in both beaches. A preliminary assessment of the samples at the site showed a low content of visible micro-plastics particles and few plastics pieces. The use of 5-Gyres protocol is part of a collaborative citizen science initiative that the US EPA Region 2, Clean Water Division, Trash Free Water Program is developing with us. This event was led by our Outreach Manager, Gladys Rivera, with the support of our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Rosana Betancourt.