The San Juan Bay Estuary Program is a 501c3 non-profit corporation that 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.  The Program engages citizens, visitors and tourists, and generates partnerships various sectors, such as the government, private, scientific, academic and community sectors.

The San Juan Bay Estuary Program is recognized as an estuary of national importance by the US Environmental Protection Agency; and is the only tropical estuary within the National Estuary Program, created by the US Clean Water Act. 

National Estuary Program (NEP)

The San Juan Bay Estuary Program (SJBEP) is part of the National Estuary Program (NEP), created under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), and managed nationally by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Its mission is to improve the water quality of the San Juan Bay Estuary. Per Section 320 of the CWA, each of the 28 entities affiliated to the NEP must submit to EPA Administrator a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to guide the restoration efforts of the most important coastal ecosystems for the economy of the Nation. The main responsibility of each organization under the NEP is to coordinate and measure the implementation of the plan in partnership with the community, state, local, and federal governments and the Academia.

The San Juan Bay Estuary was accepted into the National Estuary Program in October 1992 and a Management Conference was convened in 1994.

Estuary Partnership

The San Juan Bay Estuary was accepted into the National Estuary Program in October 1992 and a Management Conference was convened in 1994. In August 4, 2000, the Governor of Puerto Rico submitted to the EPA Administrator the CCMP for the San Juan Bay Estuary, which was approved by the agency.

The Estuary Partnership, also known as the Management Conference, consists of a President named by the Governor of Puerto Rico, as well as the Secretary of the P.R. Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the President of the P.R. Board of Environmental Quality, the Regional Director of the of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Executive Director of the Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (PRASA), as well as representatives from the community.

The Partnership works at the macro level of the Program. For example, it approves the annual Work Plan and the strategies proposed to help further the implementation the Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan of the San Juan Bay Estuary.

Corporation for the Conservation of the Estuary of the Bay of San Juan, Inc.

The Corporation for the Conservation of the Estuary of the Bay of San Juan, Inc. (Corporación para la Conservación del Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan), the not-for-profit entity incorporated in 2005 is headed by a Board of Directors that includes Pedro Gelabert, a hydrogeology expert and retired EPA Director in Puerto Rico, as its President. The Corporation has fiduciary responsibility for the Consortium’s assets.

In addition, the Program works with several volunteer committees, including a Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee; a Citizens’ Advisory Committee; an Implementation Committee; and a Finance (“Fundraising”) Committee.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently the principal source of federal support for the Estuary program, providing an allocation of over $680,000 in the current fiscal year.

The EPA annually evaluates the performance and compliance of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program with the National Estuary Program Requirements and oversees that the activities abide to the CCMP. During 2017, The San Juan Bay Estuary Program underwent the five-year program evaluation required by EPA to evaluate its performance (including financial, administrative, and programmatic); the evaluation of the organization’s performance was approved as excellent. The organization undergoes annual audits and no findings were made by the auditing entity. The organization has over 20 years of experience managing federal fund allocations from EPA, NOAA, and CNCS, as well as state, local and private funds.

Contact Us







Contact Number: (787) 725-8165

Postal Address: PO BOX 9509, San Juan, PR 00908

Physical Address: #265 Calle San Francisco, San Juan, PR 00901

Executive Director: Brenda Torres, MEM & LEED AP