The Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay in Vieques is a Natural Reserve managed by the DNER with the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust (VCHT). It is located in the south region of the Island near the community of Esperanza. The Bay is one of the most important ecosystems in the Island, not just for it natural values, but also for the benefit it provides to the local economy. Mosquito Bay is the most glowing bioluminescent bay in the world. It has also become one of the busiest areas in the Island. Approximately 600 people visit this area each night during the high season from January to May and roughly 200 per night at low season. The high visitation in this area has resulted in an increased pressure on natural resources and the need to implement best management practices to ensure both the enjoyment of visitors to the area as well as the protection and conservation of this unique coastal resource.
From the point of view of the conservation of marine ecosystems, degradation of water quality due to dispersed land-based sources of pollution has negative and sometimes irreversible damage to the integrity of the coral reef communities, sea grasses, mangroves and other highly valued coastal ecosystems. Further, coastal water quality degradation alters negatively the necessary conditions for dinoflagellates (Pyrodinium bahamense) survival in the Biolumisnescent Bay in Vieques. The degradation of coral reefs caused by sediment loads has been classified as the lead factor in the deterioration of the socioeconomic activities related to Mosquito Bay in Vieques.
In response to these needs the Puerto Rico Legislature, the VCHT and the DNER assigned funds for the implementation of a sediment and erosion control project in Mosquito Bay. They chose Protectores de Cuencas, Inc. to implement this project during 2014. The objectives of the project were to establish temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control practices in the southern access road to the Bay; to stabilize Panteón Beach access road to Mosquito Bay; to create a new access road segment to Mosquito Bay, delimit a parking lot area and delimit the public access area; and to restore wetland mangrove areas. Students from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, School of Architecture have partnered with Protectores de Cuencas to contribute with the design of educational signs for the community and tourists. The project was completed in November 2014.