Protectores de Cuencas, Inc. (PDC), with funding from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico (DNER) implemented the project entitled, "Strategies for the Identification of Sources of Pollution and the Establishment of Erosion and Sedimentation Control Practices in the Municipalities of the Northeastern Ecological Corridor, Puerto Rico".
This project provided training to Public Work Municipal Departments in the municipalities of Río Grande, Luquillo and Fajardo focused on teaching techniques for sediment and erosion control, as well as provide a series of workshops targeting science teachers and community groups to teach them how to identify land-based sources of pollution in water resources. This project was conducted between June and September 2014. The work was divided into 3 phases.
First, we facilitated a series of theoretical and practical workshops focused on appropriate handling of heavy machinery, earth moving and installation of both temporary and permanent sediment and erosion control practices. For these workshops, in addition to the participation of the Public Works Office personnel we also had municipality staff from different areas related to environmental and recreational work (such as the Emergency Management Office, Recycling Program of Public Works, Recreation and Sports Office, Planning and Sanitation Departments, and Municipal Beautification Committees).
The second part of the project entailed to facilitate practical workshops to teach water quality monitoring techniques for detection and elimination of sources of pollution in bodies of water (utilizing the IDDE methods). These were directed to science teachers and other stakeholders. In addition to sharing this knowledge with teachers, our organization built partnerships to bring workshops to schools and participate in school’s science fairs and environmental education initiatives in the future. The third phase of the project was to make a diagnosis of the environmental conditions of water bodies that drain into the Northeast Ecological Corridor. For this, we created a plan to sample sub-watersheds to segregate and classify land based sources of pollution priority areas or "hotspots". A total of 43 sites were visited, and we identified 9 as high priority to be addressed and 13 sites as medium priority for remediation.