We've been busy...
Community-Based Conservation Campaign in The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic
This project uses community-based social marketing, a novel approach, to develop parrotfish conservation campaigns in these two Caribbean countries. This project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce. We are currently collaborating with three organizations, two in the Dominican Republic and one in The Bahamas. This project is ongoing and continues until the end of fiscal year 2018.
Ponce Water Quality Monitoring
This water quality monitoring initiative at the Playa de Ponce is done in collaboration with Desarrollo Integral del Sur (DISUR) and La Playa Reverdece community group. The objective of this project is to test the Playa waters for E. coli and Enterococcus, which are two bacteria that are used as biological indicators 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.
Seagrass Conservation and Coastal Vegetation Restoration Project in the Playa de Ponce
This project was financially supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 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 1,000 individual trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants were transplanted.
Playa Rain Garden Project
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 at the Playa that suffer from flooding problems and non-point source water contamination.
Agroecological Garden Workshops
An initiative led by Braulio Quintero, which trained at the Proyecto Agroecológico El Josco Bravo, in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, has impacted local restaurants 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 gardens 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.
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.