We are a nonprofit entity: The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary
Because the implementation of the Management Plan is a long-term one, the Consortium’s Board of Directors created an independent nonprofit entity to receive the funds that are received annually.
The Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary was created for that purpose. Its Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who donate their time. As a nonprofit entity, one of the Corporation’s duties is to attract other funds, apart from those allocated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for the entity’s development.
The Corporation is the structure’s only body that is incorporated in the Department of State. It is authorized to receive federal, state, and municipal funds, as well as individual donations or from private companies to advance the Comprehensive Management and Conservation Plan’s implementation process.
Our office: San Juan Bay Estuary Program
One of the main duties of the Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Estuary, a nonprofit entity, is to manage federal and other funds the organization receives to meet the operational and project needs of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program’s office.
The Program office maintains an average of four full-time employees, and its main functions are:
• promote and monitor the implementation process of the Management Plan;
• inform Consortium members about the environmental response to this implementation process;
• communicate with each other about the Management Plan’s implementation efforts;
• Conduct studies to understand, conserve and manage the resources of the San Juan Bay Estuary;
• improve public awareness about the Estuary;
• draft the work plans and the annual budget; and
• participate in the Management Plan’s implementation processes.
The entity has the following active committees that meet several times a year:
• Scientific and Technical Committee (STAC)
• Citizens Committee (CAC)
The chairman of the STAC and the chairman of the CAC, respectively, represent the academic/technology sectors and the residents before the Consortium’s Board of Directors. Among other issues, these committees submit activities and projects to the Consortium Board, to receive funds each year.
Origin of the Estuary Program: Clean Water Law
Section 320 of the U.S. Clean Water Act created the National Estuary Program. According to the law’s model, it allows the governors of coastal states with estuaries to submit these bodies of water to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The objective is that they reach the category of national importance, and can receive federal funds directed to research, draft and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive plan for estuarine management and conservation.
On April 20, 1993, the Governor of Puerto Rico signed the official designation of the San Juan Bay Estuary as one of national importance to the United States. Then, in 1994, he opened the Estuary Program’s office. The Estuary Program is the only tropical one outside the continental United States.
Comprehensive Management and Conservation Plan for the San Juan Bay Estuary: the most ambitious environmental restoration plan in Puerto Rico.
The San Juan Bay Estuary Program, meanwhile, is a nonprofit organization that works to protect this ecosystem, in the eight metropolitan municipalities that comprise it: Bayamón, Carolina, Cataño, Guaynabo, Loíza, San Juan, Toa Baja and Trujillo Alto.
Agreement among the federal and state governments, and citizens: Consortium of the San Juan Bay Estuary
In the case of our national estuary, a 10-member Board of Directors was created: five ex-officio members (belonging to our Board is part of their job) and five members of the community. This governing body includes some of the government agencies that implement the Management Plan.
The five ex officio members are: The Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources; the President of the Environmental Quality Board; the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority; the president of the Puerto Rico Planning Board and the regional administrator of the EPA (non-voting member).
The five people who represent the community come from the following sectors: academia/technology, nonprofit organizations, banking /finance and residents.
The Governor of Puerto Rico appoints the ex-officio members, the President, the Consortium’s Board of Directors and the representative of the nonprofit entities.
The agencies and people that are part of the Consortium work mostly with the macro level of implementation of the Management Plan’s most complex and major actions.
Restore and preserve the quality of the waters
of the Estuary ecosystem as a sustainable axis
of social and economic development.