Protectores de Cuencas, Inc.
Reduction and control of sediment-laden runoff to coastal waters through the implementation of best management practices (BMPs), coastal habitat rehabilitation and delimitation of public access at Culebra, Puerto Rico
Yauco, Puerto Rico; Eldersburg, MD
Protectores de Cuencas, Inc.; Ridge to Reefs, Inc.
Type Period Note:
"As part of the efforts to implement the Culebra Community Watershed Action Plan for Coral Reefs and Water Quality, two projects were carried out from October to December 2014; one at Zoni Beach and the other in downtown Culebra near the water tank. These projects represent efforts to address untreated stormwater runoff and sediment and erosion from parking areas and unpaved road systems impacting Culebra's coastal and marine resources. Both projects were chosen after several meetings with strong community participation as part of the stakeholder process for the development of the watershed plan. The town site represents a site draining to the Lobina channel, the last stop before predominant currents carry sediment and pollutants towards sensitive coral reef communities within the Luis Pena Marine Reserve. The main goal for these projects was to address runoff from the adjacent roads and bare soil areas prior to being discharged to the marine environment. These two projects were high priorities due to the nearby reefs and the level of existing negative impacts to the nearshore marine ecosystems. Zoni was selected as a high priority location due to the erosion occurring on the road network driving down to the beach and of the parking lot which allowed conveyance of untreated stormwater into the nearshore marine environment and coral reefs. The town site was identified as a priority due to extensive sediment transport from a dirt road and conveyance of stormwater runoff in a small eroding channel out to the Lobina Channel. These projects were also part of the Sustainable Forestry Network of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico (DNER) coordinated through the Division of Forest Service and the Coastal Zone Management Program. These efforts had the endorsements of the Municipality of Culebra, the Conservation and Development Authority of Culebra (ACDEC) and the support of the community. Funding for this project was possible thanks to the Coastal Zone Management Program of the DNER and to the Coral Reef Conservation Program and the Restoration Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These projects were designed and implemented by the nonprofit organization Protectores de Cuencas, Inc. with the collaboration of Ridge to Reefs, Inc. and cooperation and active participation of the community and the Culebra Municipality. It is important to point out that the majority of the hired labor for this effort was from Culebra. These projects received technical assistance from the DNER, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA. USFWS and DNER also provided native trees planted as part of the reforestation program and provided logistical support and accommodation for the work team in their facilities in Culebra."
FY2013 CRCP Project ID 411; Project Title: Reduction and Prevention of Land-Based Sources of Pollution from Highly Erodible Bare Soils and Unpaved Roads on Culebra, PR; Principal Investigator: Lisa Vandiver