Tracking System

HW-19 - Pending

HW-19 IDENTIFY AREAS IN THE SJBE TO BE DESIGNATED MARINE PROTECTED AREAS AND CONTINUE SJBEP REEF AND CORALS RESTORATION PROJECTS

 

 Update 2017: This action is currently in development and will be pursued in future work plans.

 

19.1 Gather and assess relevant available information on marine and coastal resources within the SJBE and their spatial distribution via the PRDNER’s recent CMZP inventories, NOAA maps of benthic habitats, characterization of types of beds and benthic communities in the northern SJBE, the Inventory of the Puerto Rican Coral Reefs (1979), and any update of that report done by the PRDNER. Participants in implementation: PRDNER’s CZMP (principal), SJBEP, UPR-Mayagüez Marine Sciences Program, UPR-Humacao Marine Biology Program, NOAA.

Implementation: Short-term

 

19.2 Create an interdisciplinary advisory committee for marine and coastal nature areas in the SJBE, with representatives from the SJBEP, government agencies with interest in the subject (PRDNER, NOAA, Planning Board), the University of Puerto Rico, fishermen and other users of the zone (e.g., surfers), and community and environmental groups. Participants in implementation: SJBEP (principal), PRDNER’s CZMP, Center for Interdisciplinary Marine Studies (CIEL, for its initials in Spanish), NOAA, Planning Board, coastal municipalities in the SJBE watershed (Toa Baja, Cataño, San Juan, Carolina, Loíza), representatives from academia and local community organizations, and users with interest and experience in the protection of nature areas in the zone of interest.

 

Implementation: Short-term

 

19.3 Based on the results of the first strategy (19.1), the advisory committee will identify the areas of priority for designation as protected nature areas. It will also determine the type of classification suggested for each MPA (nature reserve, marine reserve, no-take area, special planning area). The committee will file a report with the SJBEP with its recommendations. Participants in implementation: SJBEP (principal), PRDNER’s CZMP, CIEL, NOAA, Planning Board, coastal municipalities in the SJBE watershed (Toa Baja, Cataño, San Juan, Carolina, Loíza), representatives from academia and local community organizations, and users with interest and experience in the protection of natural areas in the zone of interest. Im

 

plementation: Short-term (12 months)

 

19.4 The advisory committee will identify the legal basis and the most effective administrative and legislative mechanisms for achieving designation of protected natural areas on the ocean and estuarial shoreline of the SJBE. Participants in implementation: SJBEP (principal), PRDNER’s CZMP, CIEL, NOAA, Planning Board, coastal municipalities in the SJBE watershed (Toa Baja, Cataño, San Juan, Carolina, Loíza), representatives from academia and local community organizations, and users with interest and experience in the protection of natural areas in the zone of interest.

 

Implementation: Short-term

 

19.5 Designate high-priority areas as “Marine Protected Areas,” with the recommended classification. Participants in implementation: PRDNER and Planning Board

 

Implementation: Short-term

 

19.6 Establish a mechanism to monitor the condition of reefs, seagrasses, populations of fish and other organisms in the areas designed PMAs, following the guidelines in the reef monitoring program carried out by the PRDNER as part of the Coral Reef Task Force initiative (http:// www.coralreef.gov). Participants in implementation: PRDNER (principal), SJBEP, NOAA, and U.S. Department of the Interior

 

Implementation: Long-term

 

19.7 Establish management agreements or understandings with those government agencies and/or bona fide non-profit organizations committed to conservation and development of designated areas, such as the Estuary Program itself, for joint management and custody of the areas. Participants in implementation: SJBEP

 

Implementation: Medium-term

 

19.8 Develop a management plan for each of the MPAs. Specifically, the SJBEP, with the help of the PRDNER, should ensure that a management plan for the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve is drafted and published. Participants in implementation: PRDNER (principal), SJBEP, NOAA, coastal municipalities in the SJBE watershed (Toa Baja, Cataño, San Juan, Carolina, Loíza), representatives from academia and local community organizations, and users with interest and experience in the protection of natural areas in the zone of interest.

 

Implementation: Medium-term

 

19.9 Integrate the already-existing MPAs and the newly-designated ones into NOAA’s National System of Marine Protected Areas (http://oceanservice. noaa.gov/ecosystems/mpa/). Participants in implementation: PRDNER (principal), SJBEP, NOAA

 

Implementation: Medium-term

 

19.10 Investigate the possibility of putting out more artificial reef underwater trails such as those created by the SJBEP in the sandy beach area of the Condado Lagoon. Participants in implementation: USFWS, EPA, PRDNER, SJBEP, NOAA, coastal municipalities in the SJBE watershed (Toa Baja, Cataño, San Juan, Carolina, Loíza), representatives from academia and local community organizations, and users with interest and experience in the protection of natural areas in the zone of interest.

 

Implementation: Medium-term