Coral Reef Protection in Puerto Rico
Project Dates: June 2011 - May 2012 In 2011, the NOAA Marine Debris Program continued supporting the Surfrider Foundation’s Rincón chapter in its efforts to protect Puerto Rico's coral reefs by removing marine debris from two Marine Protected Areas: Arrecifes de Tourmaline and Reserva Marina Tres Palmas. In Phase I of the project, volunteers and local businesses removed nearly two tons of boat debris off Cayo Ron reef, where there is a large and diverse coral population. The debris, remnants of a shipwreck from 1996, was scattered across 3.2 acres of coral reef habitat. In Phase II, Surfrider focused on surveying and removing tires and other debris from Tres Palmas, while implementing an educational prevention program at local schools.