Dune-CAT Partners with Knights of Columbus


The Dune Building and Stabilization with Vegetation Conservation Action Team (Dune-CAT) is developing a partnership with the Caballeros de Colón (Knights of Columbus) to establish a demonstration project for dune building in front of the Caballeros de Colón clubhouse in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. The project will be used as an educational and awareness raising tool to demonstrate the best practices and procedures when creating dunes using vegetation. The site will also show how these features serve to protect against swells and mitigate erosion caused by sea level rise and more intense swells.

Dune-CAT meets with the Knights of Columbus in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Pedro Gonzalez, Mare Society

On March 2nd, 2016 in Isla Verde, Carolina on the north coast of Puerto Rico, a condo owners meeting was held at Hotel Verdanza. It was convened by State Representative Angel Matos, President of the Tourism Industry Development Commission. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the problem of erosion in a section of the beach. Ernesto Diaz, Director of Coastal Zone Management Office and Climate Change Council of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) and the Undersecretary of the DNER, were also at the meeting. Paco Lopez, a neighbor to the Pine Grove condos invited Pedro Gonzalez, President of the MARE Society and coordinator of the Dune-CAT. Paco spoke briefly about the importance of corals in mitigating beach erosion through the attenuation of wave energy. He also mentioned the effects on corals from sanitary effluents and sedimentation. Pedro had the opportunity to talk to neighbors very briefly about the causes of erosion and about the Dune Building and Stabilization with Vegetation Conservation Action Team (Dune-CAT) and the importance of planting vegetation on the beaches to mitigate erosion. The comments were met with a lot of interest. Many offered to support and help in the planting. Rep. Matos asked Pedro to give a formal presentation on the subject.

Carlos Homs of the Caballeros de Colón club was especially interested and asked to establish a demonstration project for the creation of dunes on the beach in front of the clubhouse. The Knights of Columbus is an international fraternal organization of Catholic men age 18 years and older who support charities throughout the parish and community. In chapter in Isla Verde is known as Caballeros de Colón Consejo San Juan Bautista 1543. A formal meeting occurred between the Caballeros de Colón and the Dune-CAT to develop the partnership.

Any individuals or organizations interested in this partnership can contact Pedro Gonzalez, President of the MARE Society, at pedro [at] maresociety [dot] org.

This post is also available in: Spanish