Protectores de Cuencas,
Expanding Erosion and Sediment Control Capacity throughout Guanica and Cabo Rojo Watersheds, Puerto Rico: Final Report
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
"Land cover disturbances result in reductions in vegetative cover and exposure of bare soils. If left unvegetated these bare soils will erode and lead to significant sediment loads to coral reefs. Highly erodible lands (HELs) and are generally defined by a combination of clayey soils, steep slopes, minimal vegetated cover, and high volume/intensity rainfalls. These sites pose the greatest threat to erosion, sediment transport, and sediment loadings to coral reef habitats. Both the Guanica and Cabo Rojo Watershed Restoration Plans identified the need to implement hydroseeding and other erosion control practices to stabilize HELs in the watershed. From 2012 through 2014, NOAA, NFWF, and NRCS provided funding to regionally adapt and refine erosion and sediment control (E&SC) techniques (e.g., hydroseeding) and build capacity for E&SC across the Guanica watershed. This investment has led to the stabilization of nearly 20 acres within the Guanica watershed and, more importantly, has provided the foundational support for partnerships in LBSP management across the watershed. NOAA subcontractors, Protectores de Cuencas (PC) and Ridge to Reefs (RTR), have utilized this funding as an opportunity to support overlapping priorities and partner with DNER, USFWS, NRCS, NFWF, Municipality of Yauco, Municipality of Guanica, and Southwest soil conservation district to leverage over $200,000 to reduce LBSPs in the Gunica watershed. This project utilized lessons learned and partnerships gained through the Guanica hydroseeding effort to expand E&SC and capacity building into the Cabo Rojo watershed. This project targeted partnerships with USFWS, NRCS, DNER and local municipalities to leverage funding and technical support to provide E&SC for overlapping priority regions. This project stabilized a total of 4 acres of highly erodible soils across the Gunica and Cabo Rojo watersheds. Three acres were stabilized in Cabo Rojo and one acre in Hacienda Candelaria located within the Guanica Bay watershed. In our efforts to support and implement the Guanica Watershed Management Plan, we continue to collaborate with other agencies to continue with the restoration efforts of the Guanica Bay and Cabo Rojo watersheds. Hydroseeding has proven to be an effective technique for erosion control and sediments stabilization of erodible lands. This effort continues to develop on the more than 25 acres of bare soils that have been stabilized by hydroseeding across the Guanica/Ro Loco watershed with the ongoing funding support of the NOAAs Restoration Center and with the localsupport of Municipalities and Environmental agencies."
FY2015; CRCP Project ID: 30034; Project Title: Expanding erosion and sediment control capacity throughout Guanica and Cabo Rojo watersheds, PR; Principal Investigator: Lisa Vandiver