Estuario Highlights: July 2019


Scientific Day at Verano Recreativo

The Community Resilience Unit at Estuario organized a myriad of activities for Puente Blanco’s Verano Recreativo summer camp’s Scientific Day. The event was held at Cataño’s La Esperanza park. Several workshops were set-up for participants: a water quality monitoring station with our WQM Coordinator Harold Manrique, birdwatching with our Education Manager Eliezer Nieves, green infrastructure with our Scientific Director Jorge Bauzá, microplastics with our water debris coordinator Cristina Ramírez, and games and environmental-themed activities for smaller kids. Estuario managed a total of 55 camp goers, 12 leaders and 11 volunteers, who contributed over 400 green contact hours and over 200 community service hours.

As part of ongoing collaborations with stakeholders and involvement with watershed communities, Estuario collaborated with the Puente Blanco summer camp Verano Recreativo throughout the summer of 2019. On July 8, 2019, the camp carried out an emergency management drill, where Estuario gave a workshop on emergencies, and distributed its Community Hurricane Preparedness Guide. 

Estuario also collaborated on Puente Blanco’s Verano Recreativo closing, on July 13, 2019. As part of the closure, the emblematic activities throughout the summer and the main role of Estuario in environmental and community education were highlighted.

Biodiversity in the Estuary

The Community Resilience Unit at Estuario collaborated with the San Patricio public housing summer camp Verano Verde, at Loíza. Estuario provided an art workshop themed around the different species present in the estuary watershed’s biomes.

Loma Alta Summer Camp

As part of its support of summer camp activities within the San Juan Bay Estuary Watershed, Estuario collaborated with the Loma Alta public housing complex summer camp in Trujillo Alto. The workshop theme was microplastics contamination and consisted of a story reading and demonstration of beach microplastics monitoring. 

Ciencia Móvil: Centro Sor Isolina Ferré

Estuario’s Community Resilience Unit participated in the Centro Sor Isolina Ferré “Mobile Science” project, in the community of Caimito. Ciencia Móvil is an initiative the Centro Sor Isolina Ferré has been operating since 2014. It is a portable laboratory powered by solar energy which offers workshops on different branches of sciences. It has impacted over 2,800 students from public and private schools since 2015.


Compost, Seedbed, Germination & Sowing Workshops

Throughout the month of July, Vivero Estuario has continued providing soil health workshops through agronomist Gabriel Agosto and organizer José Moreno at its plant nursery Vivero Estuario. These workshops aim to capacitate nearby population to properly manage available soils in their communities, promoting economic development and self-sufficiency. 

A group from the summer program Boys & Girls Club Loíza take a sowing workshop, handling sprouts of the endangered species Cobana Negra. 7/10/2019.

Seedbed workshop with children from the San Patricio community of Loíza. 7/16/2019.


Todes Vejigante: Art Exhibit at El Ancón de Loíza

El Antiguo Ancón de Loíza, the site of Vivero Estuario, saw the inauguration of the art exhibit Todes Vejigante, by artist Juan Pablo Vizcaino Cortijo. The exhibit features Vejigante masks and photography prints created by Vizcaino. The exhibit showcases Loíza’s abundant culture, as well as the influence surrounding environmental resources can have on artistic expression. 

Desalination Plant Workshop

Estuario staff received a workshop on how to operate its desalination plant, provided by Scientific Director Jorge Bauzá. As a result, the staff is now capacitated to handle the machinery. They can also demonstrate its functions to stakeholders and the public in general. It is also useful for staff at Vivero Estuario, who now have an alternate source of freshwater to rainwater. After Hurricane María, Estuario received a donation of three desalination plants that helped provide clean water to communities with no secure supply.

Foldscope Workshop for Teachers

The Estuario education team put together a Foldscope workshop for teachers of the San Juan Bay Estuary Watershed (and elsewhere). The purpose of the workshop was to teach these teachers the assembly steps, so they could apply them with their students. Foldscope is an ultra-affordable paper microscope designed to be extremely portable and durable, while providing optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes. 

Estuario Resident Artists: Braiding With Enea

The month of July 2019, Estuario Resident Artist Jomary Ortega began her weekly workshops Trenzando con Enea in the community of Las Monjas, in San Juan. The project aims to promote community members’ reaping of local environmental resources through artistic expression, in this case, the plant known as Enea is used to create a number of items, as purses, hats, and other kinds of ornaments and accessories. Workshops will be given every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through September.

Caimito Farmers Market

At this month’s Caimito Farmers Market, Estuario Education Manager Eliezer Nieves and Community Resilience Coordinator for Caimito, Amarilys García, presented an endemic birds workshop for market-goers. They also distributed Hurricane Community Preparedness Guides. Estuario participates in Caimito’s monthly Haydée Colón Farmers Market as part of its efforts to continue reaching out to residents of the area. 

Cine del Estuario: Mary Poppins Returns

This month’s edition of Cine del Estuario at the Condado Lagoon Estuarine Reserve’s Jaime Benitez Park was celebrated on July 6, 2019, featuring Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.

Press Releases & Media

Press Release (July 26, 2019): Grupo de Scouts reciben por primera vez la insignia de Oceanografía. Published in El Nuevo Día, print.