NOAA CRCP’s has 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 Guanica watershed. Recent efforts suggest similar interests and needs exist for the Cabo Rojo watershed. A watershed management plan (WMP) is currently under development for the Cabo Rojo watershed and is scheduled for completion in September 2014. The draft plan includes the need for funding of E&SC of highly erodible, priority bare soil areas. In addition, USFWS and DNER have shown interest in partnering in overlapping priorities in the Cabo Rojo watershed. These opportunities include DNER’s interest to revegetate burned areas and USFWS’s new initiative to restore riparian habitat. Wildfires are a prevalent threat to the Puerto Rico ecosystem and a significant source of LBSPs. DNER has recently partnered with PC and RTR to utilize hydroseeding to provide immediate stabilization of these sites. In addition, NRCS is interested in exploring opportunities to use native grass seeds in the hydroseed mixture to enhance resistance to wildfires at these sites. DNER is also interested in coupling plantings of native forest vegetation at these sites to provide long-term stabilization, while also supporting reestablishment of forest habitat. In a separate, but related effort, USFWS has provided funding to support restoration of riparian habitats in the Cabo Rojo and Guanica watersheds. These efforts will utilize native coastal forest plantings (e.g., trees and shrubs) to provide E&SC, enhance riparian habitat, and provide biological corridors to benefit endangered birds (i.e., yellow winged black bird).This project proposes to utilize lessons learned and partnerships gained through the Guanica hydroseeding effort to expand E&SC and capacity building into the Cabo Rojo watershed. This project will target partnerships with USFWS, NRCS, DNER and local municipalities to leverage funding and technical support to provide E&SC for overlapping priority regions. Depending on partnership contributions, slope, and accessibility, this project will stabilize 3-5 acres of highly erodible soils across the Guanica and Cabo Rojo watersheds.
This project will build on existing efforts to utilize a regionally adapted hydroseed to stabilize HELs while building capacity of local communities and professionals for erosion control and erosion prevention in the future. Depending on the steepness of the slope, this project will result in the stabilization of 3 to 5 acres of HELs within the Guánica and Cabo Rojo watersheds. Erosion control and HEL stabilization will be coupled with on-site demonstrations to provide technical training of private and public contractors in hydroseed application and implementation of additional erosion control technologies. This training will target both public and private sector employees to reduce standard land clearing practices and increase opportunities for future application and erosion control. Most importantly, this proposal will build on existing partnerships and lessons learned to continue to expand efforts to stabilize HELs while building capacity of local communities and professionals to stabilize existing exposed HELs and prevent the addition of exposed HELs in the future. This project will target partnerships with USFWS, NRCS, DNER and local municipalities to leverage funding and technical support to provide E&SC for overlapping priority regions. Ultimately, this proposal will identify external funding opportunities and enhance regional technical expertise to support E&SC throughout the jurisdiction.
Jursdiction Priority Sites:
- Guanica and Marine Extension
- Cabo Rojo
Land-based Sources of Pollution (LBSP)