Projects & Initiatives 

Community-Based Conservation Campaign in The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic-- This project uses Community-Based Social Marketing, novel approach, to develop parrotfish conservation campaigns in these two Caribbean countries.  This project is fund by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce.  We are currently collaborating with three organizations, two in Dominican Republic and one in The Bahamas. This project is ongoing and continues until the end of FY2018. 

Ponce Water Quality Monitoring-- This water quality monitoring initiative in the Playa de Ponce is done in collaboration with Desarrollo Integral del Sur (DISUR) and the Playa Reverdece community group. The objective of this project is to test the waters of the Playa for E. coli and Enterococcus, which are to bacteria that are used as biological indicator of water contamination.  The equipment used is obtained from a loan program funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.  This project is ongoing and it is paired with our green infrastructure and coastal restoration projects.

Resource Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Green infrastructures are rare in Puerto Rico and in our attempt to bring innovative projects to the Playa de Ponce we are developing, in conjunction, with the School of Architecture of the Universidad Católica de Ponce five rain gardens in communities in the Playa that suffer from flooding problems and non-point source water contamination. 

Seagrass Conservation and Coastal Vegetation Restoration Project in the Playa de Ponce-- This project was financially supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as their continuous efforts to protect seagrass, a critical habitat for commercially important marine species and federally protected marine fauna. Various areas in the coastal and tidal region of the Playa de Ponce were identified and modified with native coastal plant species. In total, over 1000 individuals of tress, shrubs, and herbaceous plants were transplanted. 

Diadema Restoration Project-- Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, this is the flagship project of Dr. Stacey M. Williams. Her discovery of high rates of settlement of juvenile long-spined black sea urchins on drifting plates in the shelf edge at La Parguera during her dissertation work, led to the establishment of a robust culturing and out planting program based out of the laboratory facilities at the Marine Science Department of the University of Puerto Rico at La Parguera. 

Agroecological Garden Workshops-- An initiative led by Braulio Quintero, which was trained at the Proyecto Agroecológico El Josco Bravo, in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico has impacted local restaurant and individuals alike. Braulio uses the knowledge learned at El Josco Bravo and applies it to small community gardens and farms. As part of the workshops, he teaches how to develop different types of garden such as: vertical gardens, tomato groves and milpas (corn, beans, and pumpkin). He is planning to develop a 3 acre farm in Lajas Arriba, Puerto Rico.