January 2015 Posts

2nd Puerto Rico Natural Protected Areas Congress: Presentations and Photos

TNCLogoPrimary_1C_349On the 28th and 29th of August 2014 Puerto Rico celebrated the Second Natural Protected Areas Congress. The event commenced with the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), Carmen R. Guerrero Pérez, who reported on a new funding opportunity for west coast communities that would like to collaborate on natural protected areas management. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative other important announcements were made.   The Congress was born out of the necesity to have a forum for sharing conservation and management strategies for protected areas in Puerto Rico. The event has the purpose and mission to share ideas, works and efforts from diverse organizations, universities, institutes, communities, individuals and government agencies that work in the protection and management of protected areas.

Click here to read the agenda.  

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CHECK OUT THE PRESENTATIONS:

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MARIA T. CHARDON AVILES OFICIAL DE MANEJO

Maria T. Chardon Aviles, Oficial de Manejo, DRNA Hypogeococcus pungens: Manejo y control en la reserva natural Isla Caja de Muertos

 

Alfredo A. Montañez-Acuña, Universidad de Puerto Rico No-take MPAs benefit low-tech Staghorn coral rehabilitation efforts: A case study from Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

Alfredo A. Montañez-Acuña, Universidad de Puerto Rico
No-take MPAs benefit low-tech Staghorn coral rehabilitation efforts: A case study from Culebra Island, Puerto Rico


Miguel A. Acevedo, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Conservation with uncertainty: optimal network protection strategies under worst-case disturbance events

Miguel A. Acevedo, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Conservation with uncertainty: optimal network protection strategies under worst-case disturbance events


Lorainne I. Rodríguez Vargas, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Aquatic Biology Laboratory Diatoms as bioindicators of trophic status of six Puertorican reservoirs

Lorainne I. Rodríguez Vargas, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Aquatic Biology Laboratory
Diatoms as bioindicators of trophic status of six Puertorican reservoirs


Ricardo Colon-Merced, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Caribbean Island National Wildlife Refuges Complex Culebra National Wildlife Refuge

Ricardo Colon-Merced, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Caribbean Island National Wildlife Refuges Complex Culebra National Wildlife Refuge


Manejo Estratégico de los Arrecifes de Coral en Puerto Rico

Alida Ortiz, Consultores Educativos Ambientales, C.S.P. Manejo Estratégico de los Arrecifes de Coral en Puerto Rico


Diseño para la conservación de hábitat en Puerto Rico

Jaime A. Collazo, North Carolina State University Diseño para la conservación de hábitat en Puerto Rico


Jorge E. San Juan Blanco, Universidad de Puerto Rico Protección del suelo contra erosión en el área costera del Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Boquerón

Jorge E. San Juan Blanco, Universidad de Puerto Rico
Protección del suelo contra erosión en el área costera del Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Boquerón


Angie Colón, Coalición Pro Corredor Ecológico Del Noreste Alianzas estratégicas para el desarrollo sostenible de la Reserva Natural Corredor Ecológico del Noreste

Angie Colón, Coalición Pro Corredor Ecológico Del Noreste
Alianzas estratégicas para el desarrollo sostenible de la Reserva Natural Corredor Ecológico del Noreste


El Yunque

Pedro Ríos, Servicio Forestal de Estados Unidos
Lecciones Aprendidas en Colaboración y Manejo bajo un Nuevo Proceso de Planificación


Ecological Restoration of a Tropical Island: The Monito Island Experience

Miguel A. Garcia Bermudez, DRNA
Ecological Restoration of a Tropical Island: The Monito Island Experience

Ecological Restoration of a Tropical Island: The Monito Island Experience

Jerry McMahon, Director, Southeast Climate Science Center Actionable Science @ DOI SE Climate Science Center: Implementing a Decision-Oriented Project Portfolio

Jerry McMahon, Director, Southeast Climate Science Center
Actionable Science @ DOI SE Climate Science Center: Implementing a Decision-Oriented Project Portfolio

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Graciela García-Moliner, Consejo de Administración Pesquera del Caribe Tres áreas marinas protegidas para el mero cabrilla y otros peces al oeste de Puerto Rico: Abrir la sierra, bajo de sico y tourmaline

Graciela García-Moliner, Consejo de Administración Pesquera del Caribe
Tres áreas marinas protegidas para el mero cabrilla y otros peces al oeste de Puerto Rico: Abrir la sierra, bajo de sico y tourmaline


William Gould, IITF Research Ecologist and CLCC Coordinator Defining shared conservation priorities, planning and action in response to climate change

William Gould, IITF Research Ecologist and CLCC Coordinator
Defining shared conservation priorities, planning and action in response to climate change


René F. Esteves Amador Short-term changes to the coral reef fish community structure following the regional coral bleaching event of 2005

René F. Esteves Amador, NOAA
Short-term changes to the coral reef fish community structure following the regional coral bleaching event of 2005


Boyas, letreros y vigilancia, Reserva Marine Arrecife de la Isla Verde - 2014

Paco Lopez, Arrecifes Pro Ciudad Boyas, letreros y vigilancia, Reserva Marine Arrecife de la Isla Verde – 2014


Marcela Cañón, Bahia Beach Resort, Alma de Bahía Bahía Beach Resort: A Private Protected Area

Marcela Cañón, Bahia Beach Resort, Alma de Bahía
Bahía Beach Resort: A Private Protected Area


Richard Appeldoorn, University of Puerto Rico A fish conservation assessment of the marine protected areas in Puerto Rico

Richard Appeldoorn, University of Puerto Rico
A fish conservation assessment of the marine protected areas in Puerto Rico


Consejo de Cambios Climáticos de Puerto Rico 2014

Ernesto Diaz, Programa de Manejo de la Zona Costanera/ Secretaría del Consejo de Cambios Climáticos de Puerto Rico La Conservación y Manejo de las Áreas Naturales Protegidas Costeras en el Contexto de los Cambios Climáticos

 

Miguel Díaz La erosión costera como agente de cambio geomofológico y pérdida de contexto arqueológico

Miguel Díaz, Para la Naturaleza
La erosión costera como agente de cambio geomofológico y pérdida de contexto arqueológico


Jeiger L. Medina Muñiz, Protectores de Cuencas Desarrollo de Estrategias de Manejo a Nivel Comunitario

Jeiger L. Medina Muñiz, Protectores de Cuencas
Desarrollo de Estrategias de Manejo a Nivel Comunitario


Sean Griffin, NOAA Restoration Center Response and restoration following the M/V Jireh grounding in Mona

Sean Griffin, NOAA Restoration Center
Response and restoration following the M/V Jireh grounding in Mona


José Gilberto Martínez-Rodríguez Restoration for Caribbean dry forests in Puerto Rico: Ecological and economic aspects for establishment of native trees species in Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

José Gilberto Martínez-Rodríguez, Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre
Restoration for Caribbean dry forests in Puerto Rico: Ecological and economic aspects for establishment of native trees species in Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

Erick Bermudez, Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refugio nacional de vida silvestre de Vieques, National Wildlife Refuge

Erick Bermudez, Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Refugio nacional de vida silvestre de Vieques, National Wildlife Refuge


Aurora Justiniano, The Nature Conservancy Planificación de los espacios marinos y costeros alianza regional oceánica del Caribe

Aurora Justiniano, The Nature Conservancy
Planificación de los espacios marinos y costeros alianza regional oceánica del Caribe


Stacey M. Williams and Jorge R. García-Sais Monitoring of coral reefs from Natural Reserves in Puerto Rico, 1999-2013: an assessment of degradation and resiliency related to turbidity and depth

Stacey M. Williams and Jorge R. García-Sais
Monitoring of coral reefs from Natural Reserves in Puerto Rico, 1999-2013: an assessment of degradation and resiliency related to turbidity and depth


Jorge Bauza-Ortega, San Juan Bay Estuary Program Reserva estuarina laguna del Condado: Ctronología de una restauración en un cuerpo de agua urbano

Jorge Bauza-Ortega, San Juan Bay Estuary Program
Reserva estuarina laguna del Condado: Ctronología de una restauración en un cuerpo de agua urbano


Secretaria Carmen R. Guerrero Pérez, DRNA Visión: Hacia un manejo integrado y colaborativo de áreas naturales protegidas en Puerto Rico

Hon. Secretaria Carmen R. Guerrero Pérez, DRNA
Visión: Hacia un manejo integrado y colaborativo de áreas naturales protegidas en Puerto Rico


Schaffner, FC, Universidad de Turabo and Environment Canada Stable hydrogen isotopes reveal breeding grounds and molt patterns of neotropical landbirds wintering at Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico

Fred Schaffner, Universidad de Turabo
Stable hydrogen isotopes reveal breeding grounds and molt patterns of neotropical landbirds wintering at Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico


Elvia J. Meléndez-Ackerman, University of Puerto Rico Effects of hurricane disturbance and feral goat herbivory on the structure of a Caribbean dry forest

Elvia J. Meléndez-Ackerman, University of Puerto Rico
Effects of hurricane disturbance and feral goat herbivory on the structure of a Caribbean dry forest


Programa Caribeño para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad Marina (PCCBM)

Programa Caribeño para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad Marina (PCCBM)


Yogani Govender, Para la Naturaleza Conservación Estratégica

Yogani Govender, Para la Naturaleza
Conservación Estratégica


Ricardo Laureano, Vegabajeños Impulsando Desarrollo Ambiental Sustentable (VIDAS) Lecciones aprendidas de los esfuerzos comunitarios para la conservación y restauración de los arrecifes de coral de Vega Baja y Manatí

Ricardo Laureano, Vegabajeños Impulsando Desarrollo Ambiental Sustentable (VIDAS)
Lecciones aprendidas de los esfuerzos comunitarios para la conservación y restauración de los arrecifes de coral de Vega Baja y Manatí

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The Effects of Changing Land Cover on Streamflow Simulation in Puerto Rico

Published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association

The effects of changing land cover on streamflow simulation in Puerto Rico

Río Piedras during a flood stage. Photo Credit: Ariel E. Lugo

The Río Piedras, an urban river, during a flood stage. This study modeled the effects of changing land cover on streamflow in Puerto Rico. Photo Credit: Ariel E. Lugo

 

                                                                            Authors

Ashley E. Van Beusekom Geophysicist, Lauren E. Hay Research Hydrologist, Roland J. Viger Research Geographer, William A. Gould Research Ecologist, Jaime A. Collazo Biologist and Azad Henareh Khalyani Research Ecologist

 

Haga clic aquí para la versión en español

Models were developed for mainland Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra simulating historic streamflows from 1953 to 2012 using static land cover parameterizations based on different snapshots in time.

The models were run for the Río Piedras watershed using dynamic land cover parameterization that changed yearly from 1953 to 2012 in the model.

The results showed that be including land cover change in modeling efforts we can reduce the uncertainties in streamflow simulation for watersheds with a high amount of human-ecosystem interactions.

Dr. Ashley E. Van Beusekom, CLCC-IITF Researcher

Dr. Ashley E. Van Beusekom, CLCC-IITF Researcher

Interview with researcher Ashley E. Van Beusekom

The CLCC’s Kasey Jacobs spoke with Dr. Ashley Van Beusekom about her recent publication in  the Journal of the American Water Resources Association, “The effects of changing land cover on streamflow simulation in Puerto Rico“, her current work modeling future streamflow and her love of changing what happens in history!

1. What are the main findings of this study and how do they assist with landscape conservation?

The short answer is the study shows us that the imperviousness of the land really matters to streamflow. The area of Río Piedras got built up over the last 70 years and the runoff has increased a lot. You can see this in the last figure of the article; runoff went crazy due to land cover change. The more you put that impervious parameter, basically paving over things, into the model the more runoff you get. In landscape conservation if you keep your trees and vegetation your runoff will be much more under control and therefore less flash floods. People know this intuitively from living in the landscape, but the models allows us to quantify it. The model covers all of Puerto Rico but we did a case study for Río Piedras and we put in different dynamic parameters, or parameters that don’t stay constant. And we found that land cover really does make a difference!

 

2. What should decision makers know about this study? 

We developed the model for all of Puerto Rico, but if you had an area that you wanted to know the historic runoff you could run the model for your particular section or watershed. We have developed it for every major stream, throughout the historical record, so you can see how it changed over the years in any basin. We pulled out Río Piedras as an example in the paper, but the paper shows how the model works in all of Puerto Rico. So if you want to look at an in area, let’s say in Mayagüez, or any other area that has had a lot of land use change you can use the model to see streamflow changes and use the results as a guide. Puerto Rico has had all land use scenarios you could think of. We have reforested the island and deforested the island. The first figure in the paper shows how much land cover has changed in Puerto Rico over fifty years. So by using the model decision makers in one part of the island could look at what occurred in other parts and apply those lessons to their basins.

We don’t have the model accessible yet to the public or online in a downloadable format but it is possible to run the model to get the data of the streamflow record for any major gauge from 1953 to 2012. In the future we hope to have the model up in the CLCC Data Center, but until then please contact CLCC Coordinator Bill Gould for more information.

3. Why is modeling useful for conservation?

Because we can’t go out and measure everything. We have an infinite number of data we need and with modeling we don’t have to go out and collect it all. Modeling is cheaper. We use observations to calibrate but we don’t have to visit every single point. Most importantly, we need guidance for developing effective conservation measures. If planting a tree wasn’t going to be effective in what you wanted to achieve, you can use models to see that and redirect resources towards another conservation measure that will be effective. You can use modeling to find out if doing a certain thing will make a difference without actually having to do it to find out. Think about it, you could change the land cover and wait and see what happens or you can use a model with a specific parameter and see what happens almost instantly. Then decide what to do.

4. What do you like most about being a modeler?

How you can avoid implementing ineffective conservation measures. And also, how you can change what happened in history with one parameter. You just plug it in and see what would happen. You don’t have to wait.

5. What’s next with your work in the Caribbean?

We just submitted a paper to a journal that takes this model into the future. We used Katharine Hayhoe’s downscaled climate data for Puerto Rico and ran the model into 2099 to see how climate will affect future runoff. We did a case study in Río La Plata en Loíza. This new study focuses on water resources on tropical island systems and what we think is going to happen based on the climate projections we have. This one is geared towards water resource managers and people that affect the landscape. We are waiting to hear back from the journal now. We want to make the past historic stream flow and future stream flow accessible for researchers and decision makers in the future so that people can pull out their stream of interest and see what we think will happen based on the different parameters in the models. I am also working on more statistical projects, a fire database in Puerto Rico and cloud heights in El Yunque with IITF’s Grizelle Gonzalez. The fire work is also related to climate change, trying to figure out what will happen to fires in the future.

 

 

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Río Manatí in Puerto Rico. Photo Credit: Kasey R. Jacobs/Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Abstract

This study quantitatively explores whether land cover changes have a substantive impact on simulated streamflow within the tropical island setting of Puerto Rico. The Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) was used to compare streamflow simulations based on five static parameterizations of land cover with those based on dynamically varying parameters derived from four land cover scenes for the period 1953-2012. The PRMS simulations based on static land cover illustrated consistent differences in simulated streamflow across the island. It was determined that the scale of the analysis makes a difference: large regions with localized areas that have undergone dramatic land cover change may show negligible difference in total streamflow, but streamflow simulations using dynamic land cover parameters for a highly altered subwatershed clearly demonstrate the effects of changing land cover on simulated streamflow. Incorporating dynamic parameterization in these highly altered watersheds can reduce the predictive uncertainty in simulations of streamflow using PRMS. Hydrologic models that do not consider the projected changes in land cover may be inadequate for water resource management planning for future conditions.

 

 

 

This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Read the full journal article here

Nature wants you back this year (2014 The Nature Conservancy Video)

MEDIA ADVISORY: USDA’s New, Innovative Program to Help Reduce Flooding in the Yabucoa Agriculture Reserve

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact:

José A. Castro, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

787-766-5206 x117 or Jose.Castro@pr.usda.gov

USDA’s New, Innovative Program to Help Reduce Flooding in the Yabucoa Agriculture Reserve

San Juan, PR, January 14, 2015 – A new project funded through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program brings together partners to control Excess Water and improve Water Quality in the fertile, level lowlands of the Yabucoa Agriculture Reserve (YAR). This project is one of more than 110 high-impact projects across all 54 states and territories that will receive more than $370 million as part of this new effort. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will join the Conservation District of Eastern Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Land Authority and the University of Puerto Rico Cooperative Extension Service to unveil this new project.

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.

WHAT:         Unveiling of new project – part of USDA’s new, innovative Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This project will improve drainage and water flow in the YAR to reduce severe and prolonged flooding, re-channel flood waters to Río Guayanés, eliminate ponding of stagnant water, and improve water quality. This is the first RCPP project in the Caribbean Area.

WHERE:      Potrero Flor de Cana Calabazas Ward Yabucoa RD 182 Km 2.0

WHO:

  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Caribbean Area Director, Edwin Almodóvar
  • Puerto Rico Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Myrna Comas
  • Conservation District of Eastern Puerto Rico President, Antonio Sanchez
  • Puerto Rico Land Authority Executive Director, Salvador Ramirez
  • University of Puerto Rico Cooperative Extension Service Dean-Director, Dr. David Padilla
  • Municipality of Yabucoa, Honorable Rafael Surillo

Note:             Reporters are asked to RSVP by Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. by contacting Nancy Feliciano atnfeliciano@agricultura.pr.gov. If you are in need of reasonable accommod
ations, please contact Nancy Feliciano atnfeliciano@agricultura.pr.gov.

 

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