An abandoned derelict vessel on the coastline.

Setting the Baseline for a Marine Debris-free Puerto Rico

Isla Mar Research Expeditions and partners are removing abandoned and derelict vessels and  establishing a coordination strategy for abandoned and derelict vessel prevention, management, and response across Puerto Rico.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Caribbean

Project Dates: May 2023 - May 2026

Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, Isla Mar Research Expeditions will remove abandoned and derelict vessels throughout Puerto Rico in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and HJR Reefscaping.

What is the project and why is it important?
In Puerto Rico, abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) are a major threat to natural resources. They pollute waterways, damage coral reefs and other marine habitats, and create navigation hazards for other vessels. Some vessels may contain fuel and hazardous materials, which could leak into the surrounding water. Removing abandoned and derelict vessels can be difficult and costly, especially on small islands where trash might be exported because landfill space is limited. 

Isla Mar Research Expeditions is working across Puerto Rico to tackle these challenges, improve the management and response, and prevent future abandoned and derelict vessels. Through this project, partners will remove abandoned and derelict vessels throughout Puerto Rico that affect beaches, mangrove forests, seagrasses, and beaches. To streamline and strengthen the process for vessel removal in Puerto Rico, partners are establishing a coordination strategy in collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies. As part of this strategy, Isla Mar Research Expeditions will facilitate training workshops on preventing and removing abandoned and derelict vessels and aims to improve access to information throughout the region. Finally, local underserved and minority students, volunteers, and organizations are learning about the impacts of abandoned and derelict vessels and how to protect coastal resources through a variety of outreach campaigns. 

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.


Last updated Wed, 10/11/2023 - 01:47 pm EDT