March 2014 Posts

Weekly Updates from the CLCC Staff- March 18, 2014

The CLCC Staff posts notes from our weekly staff meetings as part of our efforts to follow the Guiding Principles, including Be transparent in deliberations and decision-making. Follow the CLCC’s progress as we work to develop a strong partnership that bridges science and action for the lands and seas of tomorrow.


Date: 3/18/2014.
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (AST)
Participants: Kasey Jacobs, Brent Murry, Bill Gould, Ben Crain, Marixa Maldonado, Gary Potts
Notes compiled by: Marixa Maldonado
Location: GIS laboratory/ IITF-Jardín Botánico

Agenda Items:

“El Campo” Strategy
USVI Meetings
Griffin Groups
Updates on upcoming meetings/ activities

Meeting Outcomes:

1.The Caribbean Atlas for Management Planning Opportunities, or El Campo (the countryside, in Spanish), is a new tool we are developing as part of the CLCC Data Center. It will be much more than an online tool, though, more of a process or framework that allows existing data and knowledge to be easily integrated into decision making. Principally, it will serve as a foundation for creating and communicating current conditions and future scenarios of our land and seascapes. It will be a mechanism to explore future scenarios and develop a shared vision of risks, opportunities, and options. We are envisioning it would be a communication tool, an analytical tool, and a record of past, present, and potential future views and conditions of our environment. El Campo would be an electronic Atlas (maps) that will include spatially explicit information (layers) on resources, climate, conditions, infrastructure, governance, regulations, jurisdictions, species distributions, ownership, management, protected areas, population, traditional knowledge, land uses, historical information, future scenarios, vulnerabilities, and opportunities. The Atlas will be Dynamic, Spatially-explicit, Scientifically-based, Well-documented, Interactive, Bilingual, Terrestrial-Marine, Forward-looking, Virtual, Publically-available, Comprehensive, and Adaptive. The Caribbean Atlas for Management Planning Opportunities will be a process, a source of data, a way to connect and converse about potential scenarios, a place to add your knowledge, compare your vision, and assess synergies, conflicts, cumulative impacts, and sustainable futures.

2.To start developing the El Campo process and further refine the CLCC framework we brainstormed an implementation project that could be done in the short-term and through an RFP to be released in the next few months. The project would be based off of a management question or questions in related to conservation planning for future scenarios of freshwater around a particular reserve or region. The project would be built on existing data and information from the CLCC and our partners as well as participatory and structured decision making methods. Details to be announced soon.

3.We also discussed current CLCC projects and future projects that are in the pipeline or could be via an RFP this year based off the draft science plan priorities. The decision was made to have a meeting with project leads soon to develop Science Delivery and Communications strategies for each so that when they are complete we can quickly and effectively deploy the information to the appropriate decision makers and line up next steps. CLCC’s ongoing products are:

• Support for the San Juan Bay Estuary’s sea level rise monitoring
• Support for a project working with LIDAR in the Northeast of PR
• Spatially explicit hydrological data for PR and USVI by watershed
• Vegetation modeling
• Urban growth model for PR and USVI
• Down scaled-climate data (statistically data available and being put into maps and dynamical will be available in 2 years)
• Future stream flow scenarios by watersheds of PR and USVI
• Ecosystem Governance (compendiums and survey data being analyzed)
• Better resolution of land cover for the island
• Important Bird Conservation Areas publication

4. The CLCC will also organize a set of small workshops in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands during the next six months to further each of the projects and CLCC science plan development with the objective of identifying conservation challenges and bringing key partners together for implementation projects led by the CLCC.

CLCC Partner Initiative: Marine Outreach and Education USVI Style – Don’t Stop Talking Fish Initiative

CLCC Partner Intiative: Marine Outreach and Education USVI Style – Don’t Stop Talking Fish Initiative


NOAA Don't Stop Talking Fish Initiative

The US Virgin Islands has a long history of human-environment interactions. The profound ties of the local community to the marine environment are particularly notable. For centuries, US Virgin Islanders have been sustained from dependence on the sea for its resources and this can be seen as far back as the Salidoid and Taino era, in the colonial era, and during US sovereignty leading up to the present. Over time, though the level of dependence has changed, one thing holds true, US Virgin Islanders are deeply connected with the sea and its fisheries resources which support local consumption and livelihoods. With changing generations, fisheries heritage and culture is at risk for being lost considering dynamics in fishing gear, technology, methods, fisher perspectives and community interest. Thus, it is critical now to capture, document, showcase and celebrate USVI fisheries heritage and culture to ensure generations to come understand and appreciate the significance of fisheries resources and habitats as well as the important role that fishers play in maintaining balance of both the resource and fisheries heritage and culture.

To address this need, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC), NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and Sea Grant Puerto Rico, in collaboration with other local and regional partners of the Marine Outreach and Education USVI Style Initiative: “Don’t Stop Talking Fish” project (DSTF) are in the process of coordinating a fisheries-based cultural event with focus to build awareness and appreciation for fisheries resources, habitat and fishers. MOES-VI aims to increase community awareness and compliance with fishery regulations while fostering effective dialog concerning sustainable use of Territorial fishery resources and marine resource management in general. Specifically, DSTF is a collaboration between NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or NOAA Fisheries Service), USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) and Friends of St. Croix East End Marine Park to build community awareness and knowledge of the fisheries management process, the roles of management agencies, and the most recent fisheries rules and regulations, while further developing community appreciation for the ecological, cultural and heritage aspect of the USVI fisheries, fishers, and the St. Croix East End Marine Park (STXEEMP). This will be accomplished through implementation of the first annual DSTF Cultural Event to be held at Great Pond, St. Croix, during Territorially-designated “Fishers Appreciation Week” [1VIC§199a], specifically Saturday, June 28, 2014, and for the development and implementation of a media campaign to promote the DSTF mission and event. The event will include the following components:

• a fisheries management workshop aimed at building community awareness regarding the fisheries management process and rules and regulations (e.g. annual catch limits and accountability measures);

• activities to engage families in interactive and creative ways to teach them about essential fish habitat (EFH), fish species regulated by the CFMC and DPNR, and the significance of sustaining USVI fisheries from an eco-heritage and cultural aspect;

• a mini-film festival showcasing sustainable fisheries management and community practices throughout the world and premiering the “Don’t Stop Talking Fish” film, which is being created through a collaborative effort between NOAA CRCP, CFMC, Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program, and Earthbound Studios to build community awareness and appreciation for EFH, fisheries, and fishers.

• an educational/entertainment component showcasing local artists to address USVI ecology and culture as themes in their songs and a “Fish Chant” contest with reggae songs about Essential Fish Habitat, fisheries, and fishers relevant to USVI eco-heritage and culture written by students (i.e. Grades 5, 6, 8 and 9); and

• an expo with exhibits from agencies and entities that play a role in marine and fisheries management and conservation (e.g. local and federal resource managers, NGOs, and community associations) organizations as well as the day in the life of a fisher;

For more information and to volunteer check out their website at



Weekly Update from the CLCC Staff – March 4, 2014

The CLCC Staff posts notes from our weekly staff meetings as part of our efforts to follow the Guiding Principles, including Be transparent in deliberations and decision-making. Follow the CLCC’s progress as we work to develop a strong partnership that bridges science and action for the lands and seas of tomorrow.


Date: 3/4/2014.
Time: 10:30 am – 12:10 pm (AST)
Participants: Kasey Jacobs, Brent Murry, Marixa Maldonado, Gary Potts
Notes compiled by: Marixa Maldonado
Location: GIS laboratory/ IITF-Jardín Botánico 


Agenda Items:

  • *Update from Auburn, Alabama meeting (Brent Murry)
  • *Steering Committee briefing and next steps
  • *Communications Internship
  • *Climate Modeling workshop-follow up
  • *Progress reports from all


Meeting Outcomes:

  1. -CLCC is planning to give a seminar at the UPR-Mayaguez soon. If possible we will try to combine this seminar with a half day workshop to continue working on science plan development.
  2. -Gary Potts is joining the CLCC team. Gary will be working with website management and geospatial information.
  3. -Brent Murry (CLCC Science Coordinator) was in Alabama last week at an LCC training on Structured Decision Making. During the training they specifically tackled a Caribbean-specific issue of  funding allocation for endangered species work. Brent mentioned that one of the methods learned that they used for the endangered species problem was almost exactly the same as the process we used at CLCC annual meeting in Puerto Rico.
  4. -Steering Committee update- On the last call there was no quorum to come to consensus so they decided to reach consensus over emails about the process for completing full Steering Committee composition. Staff will help implement decision over next two months.
  5. -There are 2 Communications Internship positions now available with the CLCC. The flyer will be distributed with partners, mailing lists and major University Institutions for PR and USVI. The intern selected for PR will have a space at the IITF while the one selected in USVI will have a space in one of the offices of the partners of the CLCC in the respective island the intern is located. The Intern is intended to help with all communications related activities including: social media, podcasts, video editing, press releases, etc.
  6. -Kasey Jacobs (CLCC Partnership & Outreach Coordinator), on behalf of Bill Gould (CLCC Coordinator) and Adam Terando (USGS-Climate Science Centers), sent out an email yesterday to 44 US Caribbean ecologists/biologists a summary and variable output list from the two days of climate modeling workshops last November. They will be accepting comments until March 28, 2014. Information on the project can be found on the projects page and the workshop summary with presentations can be found here.
  7. -We are working on the possibility of having the compendiums translated into Spanish.
  8. -Kasey will lead a sub-group part of the international LCC communications team; this sub-group will work specifically in addressing the subject of defining “effective science delivery” and providing guidance.
  9. -Today the President will release the Budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
  10. -Our next SC conference call will be on Monday, March 17 at 2pm and will be focused on the Science Plan and the Business Planning Tiger Teams.

Weekly Update from the CLCC Staff – February 18, 2014

The CLCC Staff posts notes from our weekly staff meetings as part of our efforts to follow the Guiding Principles,including Be transparent in deliberations and decision-making. Follow the CLCC’s progress as we work to develop a strong partnership that bridges science and action for the lands and seas of tomorrow.




Date: 2/18/2014.
Time: 10am – 12:00 pm (AST)
Participants: Kasey Jacobs, Brent Murry, Bill Gould, Marixa Maldonado, Benjamin Crain
Notes compiled by: Marixa Maldonado
Location: GIS laboratory/ IITF-Jardín Botánico


Agenda Items:

  • -Tiger Team Update
  • -Draft Steering Committee call agenda- Feb 24th
  • -Business Plan Update
  • -Science Plan Update


Meeting Outcomes:

      1. 1. We have a new staff member (Benjamin Crain) who will be working for the next semester with the CLCC.
      2. 2. Staff will be scheduling a workshop in April to meet with key partners from PR and USVI involved in agriculture.
      3. 3. Staff and sub-committee of the Steering Committee (“Tiger Team”) will work for final selection of Steering Committee  formation. Recommendations to be presented and discussed at February 2014 monthly call. Staff will continue to get representation of the state agencies that we need in the SC. The instructions from Fortaleza were that we should go directly to those agencies and ask them directly  to appoint leaders to the Steering Committee to represent their agencies.
      4. 4. International representation “at large seats”- Staff have been participating in different international forums during the last year and we are looking for potential partners that can contribute heavily to the cooperative somehow. (It could be bringing resources, or already having capacity). Staff will be creating descriptions of these possible “at large seats” for SC to comment and approve. International representation of the CLCC is still a theme under discussion and a very potential idea for the near future.
      5. 5. Business plan- Pedro Rios (from El Yunque) will be scheduling a meeting with rest of tiger team members to start discussing business plan.
      6. 6. This next Thursday 20th staff will have a meeting to learn more about Griffin Groups usage for effectively sharing of documents and revamping the CLCC community webpage
      7. 7. Science Plan update- we intend to have a series of short meeting during this spring in St Croix, St Thomas, San Juan and Mayaguez to meet with key partners for discussion of science priorities and move forward with the Science Plan.
      8. 8. December 12 meeting report is in final revision.
      9. 9. We are working on getting a communications intern for this year; the advertisement for the position will be distributed widely to have the major pool of applicants possible.