The San Juan Bay Estuary is the natural ecosystem of forests, creeks, rivers, lagoons, beaches, and the bay, which connect eight municipalities and the metropolitan area of Puerto Rico, the heart of our economy.
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria swept a path of brutal destruction across this precious natural habitat and the hundreds of thousands of people who call the metropolitan area their home. Puerto Rico had not seen a hurricane of such strength since 1928. Critical infrastructure, such as ports, power plants, hospitals, major highways, sewer systems, and agricultural fields were all devastated. The natural infrastructure was not spared, with forest cover decimated, rivers flooding entire communities, and sanitary discharges flowing into the network of water bodies.
The San Juan Bay Estuary Program has been working for over 20 years to protect and restore the water quality of the Estuary and the health of this ecosystem. Together we must work harder than ever to lift this ecosystem, and with it the well-being of the communities and economy that depend on it.
After hurricane Maria, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program responded to the immediate need for information on water quality, increasing its monitoring frequency from once a month to once a week. The Program also added monitoring in beaches, responding to the imminent risk of citizens unknowingly bathing in highly contaminated waters. The Program will also continue its bird censuses, and marine habitat evaluation in which citizen scientists also play an essential role.
The fallen debris and copious rainfall brought by Hurricane Maria, combined with an aging sanitary and stormwater infrastructure has left both the sewers, streets and water bodies of the Estuary clogged and running with contaminated waters. Upon this situation, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program acted immediately, unclogging sewers and removing debris. However, this work is costly, involving specialized heavy machinery, and staff time to manage these projects.
From obtaining water desalination plants and coordinating debris removal to planning outdoor movie nights and children’s workshops to brighten families’ spirits, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program has been partnering with various organizations to provide much-needed services to communities.
Even small donations can help us fund more of these projects.
Help the communities…
The prompt restoration of the Condado Lagoon to its optimal condition is crucial for our resiliency, health, natural resources and economy.
The hurricane’s destruction harmed the recreational areas and made vulnerable the quality of water of the Lagoon.
This puts at risk the health of the community and its visitors, and puts a hold on a the various of economic recreational and tourist activities that depend on it.
After hurricane María
Designs, implements, and keeps track of restoration actions in order to improve the quality of waters and associated ecosystems within the San Juan Bay Estuary system and its watershed.