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by July 7, 2001
Help Preserve Caribbean Coastal Ecosystem
The Northeastern Ecological Corridor (NEC) is a 3,200
acres coastal fringe located on the northeastern region of Puerto Rico (PR), between the municipalities of
Luquillo and Fajardo.
The NEC contains an extraordinary array of tropical
habitats seldom found in other parts of the world,
including over 25 critical marine mammal, bird, snake,
sea turtle and plant species. The NEC is home to the
federally endangered PR Plain Pigeon, the Snowy Plover,
the Brown Pelican, the PR Boa, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle
and the West Indian Manatee. The region, is best known
as one of the most important nesting grounds for Leatherback
sea turtles in areas under the US jurisdiction and
the Caribbean. All of the coastal wetlands found in
PR, such as coral communities and mangroves, are also
encompassed within this region. These wetlands are
essential to the existence of a biological phenomenon
rare in the world, but occurring in the NEC, a bioluminescentlagoon. In addition, the NEC has important recreationalresources including a world class surfing beach known as La Selva.
In 1992 the PR Department of Natural and Environmental
Resources proposed the NEC as a nature reserve. However,
in 1996, this region was rezoned for high density tourist
development. At the present time, the NEC is threatened
by the development of two massive resorts, which would
include the construction of over 3,000 tourist-residential
units and three golf courses. These two projects will
result in the filling of wetlands and the destruction
of the natural integrity of the NEC. In addition, the
construction of the resorts, along with other developments
in the area, will limit the water resources already
needed by local communities. A deficit of over 2,000,000
gallons of water per day will result even after a proposed
artificial lake is in place adjacent to the Fajardo River.
Please urge PR's Senate, House of Representatives and
the Environmental Quality Board to initiate a legislative
investigation of the effects that these large development
projects will have on the northeastern region of PR.
Ask them to support the designation of the NEC as a
nature reserve, as originally proposed by the Commonwealth.
Azur Moulaert email@example.com Environmental Defense
PS: For maps and photos please visit
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Victory for our Oceans! Faxes from Action Network activists head-off attacks on our oceans.
Action Network from Environmental Defense. Finding the ways that work.
Members actions have resulted in the deflection of a serious threat to our oceans. Over 10,000 Action Network
activists who sent letters to America's Bush Administration officials,helped turn back an effort to undo key protections
for our oceans.
In 2000, the Clinton Administration issued Executive
Orders establishing "marine protected areas" throughout
U.S waters and creating the magnificent 84-million
acre Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem
Reserve, to protect the rare Hawaiian Monk seal, several
species of sea turtles, and preserve a key home ground
of the majestic albatross that ranges throughout the
But, under pressure from special interests in the oil
and gas industry and the sportfishing industry, the
Bush Administration considered reversing the two Clinton
Executive Orders protecting our oceans. Acvtivists responded
by sending over 10,000 faxes each to the White House,
Secretary of Interior Gale Norton, and Commerce Secretary
Donald Evans. These agencies asked the Action Network to give them back the use of their fax machines, and our oceans
are safe, for now.
YOU CAN STILL HELP! To keep you involved with ongoing threats to our oceans, this action alert has been updated
please continue to help VISIT:
LINK 1 below
Spread the word about Action Network's efforts to protect
our oceans. VISIT:
LINK 2 below
This section includes information on COASTCARE , OCEAN CARE, , DOLPHINS, WHALES and more!!!
Almost three quarters of the earth is covered in water. Threats to marine
POLLUTION from oil, nutrients, sewage & toxic chemicals, OVERFISHING,
INAPPROPRIATE COASTAL DEVELOPMENT
THE SEA MAYBE THE LAST WILDERNESS ON EARTH - LET US PROTECT IT!!!
Start at home and in your neighbourhood by remembering that litter dropped in
the street very likely will end up in the stormwater
system, and eventually at your favourite beach.
Please do not wash your car in the street, or hose soapy water down the
driveway into the gutter as this is a common cause of
Plant native trees & shrubs as these will need less, or nil fertiliser and will keep
weeds at bay.
Make natural fertiliser by composting food scraps.
By joining in on OCEANCARE DAY :
CLEAN UP THE WORLD
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY
We can make a difference to our marine environments.
Activities could include:
UNDERWATER CLEANUPS & SURVEYS
DRAINAGE AWARENESS PROJECTS
Nothing but rainwater should enter the storm drain,but things like motor
oil,antifreeze,paint,garden waste and plastic are often
being disposed of in this manner by businesses and householders.
Anti Freeze can kill as can motor oil.
A small quantity of oil can create a very large oil slick (1 quart = a 2 acre oil
Garden wastes decompose rapidly once in the water,this causes excessive
nutrients which in turn leads to severe environmental
Localised flooding can occur because of garden waste clogging drains at the
Many communities around the world are painting signs on gutters saying such
hings as "This Drains To The Bay" or featuring
images of Dolphins,Frogs or Whales.
If you want to start a DRAIN MARKING PROJECT in you neighbourhood- contact
your local water authority,let them know who will
be doing the workand who is responsible for the supervision.
Get in touch with WATERWATCH , a Landcare group or a local Progress
Land or Sea) WEEDBUSTING
http://www.ifc.tas.gov.au/conservation.html...FISHCARE SEA FISHERIES
BEACH or WATERFRONT CLEANUPS
Removal of Seastars
COASTAL WALKS or BOAT TRIPS
Adopting A Beach
JOINING A BIRDWATCH GROUP
& curlews,and are for the
most part waterbirds dependent on wetlands.
Some 40 species regularly visit Australia from the Northern Hemisphere each
Many trees need native birds for insect control,or pollination.
Did you know? Australia has a greater diversity of bird pollinated flowers than
any other continent.
TAS PARKS...HYDRO'S SQUAWK STUDENT RESEARCH,...This ecotourism resort
on Bruny Island caters for birdwatching groups
their website has a good selection of ecolinks...
DISPLAY of MARINE DEBRIS combined with a PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
Or something else innovative.
ORGANISING OR TAKING PART IN A BEACH CLEAN UP
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA has a very useful manual on organising cleanups
distributed to it's co-ordinators each year.
If organising a beach cleanup at another time, tthere maybe other special
Having contacted the local authorities - organised bag supplies - waste disposal
-safety - and communications the particular site
needs to be checked.
HOW EASY IS IT TO GET TO THE SHORELINE
HOW WILL YOU GET RUBBISH BACK TO THE DUMPSTERS
WHAT IS THE PARKING & TRANSPORT ACCESS LIKE (remember if you are using
big trucks they will need good
Check local tide tables, ideally the collection should begin 1-2 hours after
highwater, finish the cleanup well within daylight hours.
Minimise disturbance to wildlife.
Avoid hazards such as possible rock falls from cliffs.
Be aware of possible hazardous material,(dead wildlife, or toxic containers and
drums),have a special safety officer briefed to take
care of these items.
DO NOT COLLECT DRIFTWOOD, SEAWEED or ANIMAL FAECES that naturally
occurs in the area, they may be providing a
habitat or preventing erosion.
Finally, maintain records of your cleanup, ideally these should be photographic
as well as a detailed analysis of the material
Since 1986 cleanups in over 51 countries have been analysed by the
Centre for Marine Conservation
In the USA and used as the basis for legislation & regulation by USA authorities,
plus the International Maritime Organisation.
Australia uses data collected as a means of allowing the Australian Maritime
Safety Authority to take measures to enforce the
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION for the PREVENTION of POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
(Marpol Annex 5 ).
The enacting legislation for this is the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of
pollution from Ships Act ) 1983, which allows maximum
fines of $1,000,000 for corporations & $200,000 for individuals who illegally
Recently P&O / Princess Cruises in the USA were fined $500,000 for dumping 20
rubbish bags off the Florida Coast.
Deep Sea Divers are in the unique position of being able to see damage being
done to marine environments by all sorts of
pollution - and regularly participate in cleanups. In the UK the MARINE
was originally founded by divers.
Divers should if not already join the AUSTRALIAN LITTORAL SOCIETY
& encourage their club to affiliate so that they can continue working for cleaner
OTHER ACTIONS: consider formally adopting a Dive Site & plan a programme of
regular cleanups and surveys.
Lobby docks & marinas to provide adequate recycling & rubbish facilities.
Install rubbish compactors if in charge of a large vessel.
BE VIGILANT AND REPORT UNLAWFUL DUMPING
MARINE POLLUTION FACTS
Information for this section has been drawn from the Australian Littoral Society.
Direct Pollution can occur through deliberate disposal & accidental loss of
substances at sea, whilst Indirect
Pollution can result from landbased activities. it has been estimated that at
least 40% of marine contaminants come from landbased
From The Examiner Newspaper of May 26,2000 this startling statistic:At any one
time around 500 seals in Tasmanian waters have
'collars' of plastic litter around their necks,one of thew highest rates in the
DRAINS TO THE BAY: WHEN YOU RUBBISH OUR STREETS, YOU RUBBISH OUR
RIVERS AND THE BAY.
Because much of the urban area has a hard surface, the ground is sealed which
means the stormwater absorbed by
soils is dramatically reduced and there is less vegetation to use and retain it
.This means most water flows down
the drains and into the waterways posing a flooding problem .This stormwater is
often contaminated ,reducing the
water quality in rivers & coastal zones.
SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION
Suspended solids - dust and soil
Nutrients - sewerage outflows, fertilisers, detergents, dog faeces
Oxygen demanding materials - food & garden wastes