Outreach Activities

The ASLO 2019 meeting committee has carefully coordinated volunteer opportunities designed to assist the citizens of Puerto Rico as they continue to recover from the devastating hurricanes in 2017.  It is our hope that many of those in attendance will be able to participate in these outreach activities. To accommodate busy schedules, activities are planned for the Saturdays before and after the meeting.  However, for those who are not able to arrive early or stay in San Juan following the meeting, opportunities will be available on at least one afternoon during the week. Before you make your plans to attend the meeting, please study the list, decide which activity is best suited to your interests and talents, and plan your travel to include at least one of the activities below. Participation numbers are limited, so please sign up when you register for the meeting.  Registered participants will receive more details prior to the meeting.  Each activity is dependent upon weather conditions and a minimum number of participants who sign up and are subject to cancellation.

1. Coral Reefs and Mangrove Keys Clean–Up at La Parguera

Organized by graduate students from the Department of Marine Science (DMS) University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM), the purpose of this activity is to acquire data for a long-term project at La Parguera, Lajas. DMS-UPRM will provide boats. Participants will travel to La Parguera, Lajas, by charter bus on Friday, 1 March. This will be a full-day activity (approximately 8 hours) on Saturday, 2 March. Participants will be taken to the site on Friday evening and will stay in dorm rooms at the Department of Marine Science - UPR facilities so that the group can get an early start on Saturday.

Dates: Friday, 1 March - Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Buses will depart from the Puerto Rico Convention Center on Friday afternoon and will return to the same location on Saturday evening. Travel time is approximately 3 hours each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date.
Number of Participants: 20 (Maximum)
Cost: $90.00 per person (Includes transportation, overnight accommodations at UPR facilities, and lunch on the boat on Saturday.)
Other Requirements/Expenses: Dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday are not included. However, several dining establishments are within walking distance from UPR.
Snorkeling gear is required. For information on rentals, please contact Paradise Scuba at https://www.paradisescubasnorkelingpr.com or by calling 787-899-7611 or sending an email to paradisescubapr@gmail.com

2. Volunteering with P.E.C.E.S

Participants will be painting houses and other tasks as a part of a recovery project organized by P.E.C.E.S. (El Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio), an NGO that fosters social, economic, and educational development of individuals and communities in social disadvantage. The purpose of P.E.C.E.S. is to inspire leaders, with special attention to youngsters, so that they become champions of their own communities. They accomplish these transformations through several programs tied to three core service areas: education (including an alternative education high school); prevention services for at-risk populations; and entrepreneurship and development training. Participants will travel to Punta Santiago, Humacao, by charter bus. Buses will depart from and return to the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Dates: Saturday, 23 February, or Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately one hour each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a full-day activity (approximately 8 hours) on both days.
Number of Participants: 25 each day (Maximum)
Cost: $40 per person (Includes transportation, water, and lunch on Saturday.)
Other Requirements/Expenses: Participants should wear light clothes and tennis shoes.

3. Restoration, Management and Conservation Project of the Las Cucharillas Marsh

https://umet.suagm.edu/cucharillas_plan_integracion_educacion_comunitaria

Participants will travel to Cataño to work on projects to restore, clean up, and protect the marsh and the natural resources that this ecosystem harbors for the enjoyment of this and future generations. Participants will travel to the site by charter bus. Buses will depart from and return to the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Individuals who prefer may Uber or use their own transportation to get to the site.

Date: Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately one-half hour each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a half-day activity (approximately 5 hours including travel time). 
Number of Participants: 50 (Maximum)
Cost: $10 per person (Includes water and bus transportation.)
Other Requirements/Expenses: Participants should wear light clothes and waterproof boots or tennis shoes.

4. Guakia Colectivo Agroecologico

This is a very physical eco-agriculture activity involving farming and planting at local farms in Dorado. Participants will work with Guakia Colectivo Agroecologico, an environmental justice organization based in Puerto Rico. These farms are maintained to provide food following the 2017 hurricanes when the devastation disrupted the shipment of supplies into Puerto Rico. Participants will travel to the site by charter bus. Buses will depart from and return to the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Date: Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately 40 minutes each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a half-day activity (approximately 6 hours including travel time). 
Number of Participants: 15 (Maximum)
Cost: $50 per person (Includes lunch, water, and bus transportation)
Other Requirements/Expenses: Participants should wear light clothes and work shoes or tennis shoes.

5. Monitoring Dive at a Coral Reef Ecosystem at Escambrón Beach and Condado Lagoon

This activity is offered two times, but is limited to one diver on each date. The diver will work with Manuel Nieves, a graduate student at DMS – UPRM. You must be a certified scuba diver to participate in this activity.  For more information, please contact Manuel Nieves at 787-459-1949. Note: Participants will travel with Manuel to the site by private automobile. Departure is anticipated to be from and returning to the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Date: Saturday, 23 February 2019, and Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately five minutes each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a full-day activity. 
Number of Participants: One diver on each day
Cost: Rental of scuba gear is required. Please contact Scuba Dogs at 787-977-0000 or go to http://www.new.scubadogs.net/about.html.

6. Institute for Socio-Ecological Research, Inc., Diadema Antillarum (Sea Urchin) Restoration Project at Fajardo Coral Reefs

https://isercaribe.org/who-we-are

This activity will involve two dives to monitor sea urchin restoration areas at the Fajardo coral reefs. You must be a certified scuba diver in order to participate in this activity.  Participants will travel to Fajardo by van and will take a boat to the reefs. Departure is anticipated to be from and returning to the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Date: Saturday, 23 February 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately one hour each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a full-day activity (approximately 8 hours). 
Number of Participants:  This activity is limited to 5 divers.
Cost: $215 per person (Includes water, lunch, van transportation, and boat)
Other Requirements/Expenses: In addition to the cost above, rental of scuba gear is required at approximately $60 per day. Rental information is available by contacting Scuba Dogs at 787-977-0000 or by going to http://www.new.scubadogs.net/about.html.

7. Water Quality Monitoring in Different Zones within the San Juan Metropolitan Area

Description: Participants will be involved in water monitoring activities under the direction of Samuel Suleiman, Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Inc. (SAM)/Marine Environment Society (http://www.sampr.org). Participants will monitor at various locations close to the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Transportation will not be provided, and participants can walk to the locations. The water quality meter will be lowered from a dock. No special gear or skills are needed.

Dates: Tuesday, 26 February, and Thursday, 28 February 2019
Time: This will be a three-hour activity in the afternoon. Exact times will be posted at a later date.
Number of Participants: 10 (Maximum)
Cost: $25 per person
Other Requirements/Expenses: If participants do not walk  to the location, they must secure their own transportation to the sites by private automobile, rental car, taxi, or they may Uber for approximately $5 per person.

8. Coral Reef Fragments Recovery Dive from Ongoing Restoration Project at the Escambron and Condado Lagoon

Participants will take part in dives to recover coral reef fragments at the Escambron and Condado lagoon. This activity is part of an ongoing restoration project under the direction of Samuel Suleiman, Sociedad Ambiente Marino, Inc. (SAM)/Marine Environment Society (http://www.sampr.org). Participants in this activity must provide scuba diving certification and have advanced diving experience. The lagoon is located 10 minutes from the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Participants must make arrangements for their own transportation via private automobile, rental car, taxi, or Uber, or they can walk.

Date: Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Time: This will be a three-hour activity in the afternoon. Exact times will be posted at a later date.
Number of Participants: 12 (Maximum)
Cost: There is no additional cost to participate, but you must indicate your interest in participating when you register for the meeting. Rental of scuba gear is required. Rental information is available by contacting Scuba Dogs at 787-977-0000 or by going to http://www.new.scubadogs.net/about.html.
Other Requirements/Expenses: Estimated cost is $60 for scuba gear rental. 

9. Educational Workshop About the Role and Importance of Aquatic Macro-Invertebrates in Fresh Water Quality at the Botanical Garden of Rio Pedras

(Sponsored by Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research, University of Puerto Rico, Natural Science Faculty, Department of Environmental Science (LTER – UPR)  http://luq.lter.network/)

The workshop and will take place at the Botanical Garden of Rio Piedras (locate near UPR Rio Piedras). Participants will hear a presentation about macro-invertebrates and why they are considered to be good bioindicators of water quality. Following the discussion, they will get into the water to collect macro-invertebrates with nets and will identify the microhabitats that they inhabit. Participants in this workshop must be willing to get into the water and can expect a medium-level of physical activity. The botanical garden is approximately 15 minutes from the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Group transportation will be provided and will depart from and arrive back at the convention center.

Date: Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: This will be a five-hour activity in the morning. Exact times will be posted at a later date.
Number of Participants: 25 (Maximum)
Cost: $35.00 per person (Includes transportation, lunch and water)
Other Requirements: Appropriate gear is recommended including long-sleeved shirts, long pants (preferably exercise pants or leggings; jeans are not recommended), rubber boots (knee-length or waiders), cap or hat, mosquito repellent, and sunscreen. Participants may want also to bring their own snack.

10. Educational Workshop About the Role and Importance of Aquatic Macro-Invertebrates in Fresh Water Quality (Quebrada Sonadora River at El Yunque National Forest)

(Sponsored by Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research, University of Puerto Rico, Natural Science Faculty, Department of Environmental Science (LTER – UPR)  http://luq.lter.network/)

The workshop will take place in the Quebrada Sonadora River at El Yunque National Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/elyunque/about-forest/?cid=fsbdev3_042999  Participants will hear a presentation about macro-invertebrates and why they are good bioindicators of water quality. Following the discussion, they will get into the water to collect macro-invertebrates with nets and will identify the microhabitats that they inhabit. Group transportation will be provided and will depart from and arrive back at the convention center. Note: Participants in this workshop must be willing to get into the water and can expect a medium-level of physical activity.

Date: Saturday, 2 March 2019
Time: Travel time is approximately one hour each way. Exact times will be posted at a later date. This will be a full-day activity (approximately 8 hours).
Number of Participants: 20 (Maximum)
Cost: $60.00 per person (Includes transportation, lunch, and water)
Other Requirements: Appropriate gear is recommended including long-sleeved shirts, long pants (preferably exercise pants or leggings; jeans are not recommended), bathing suit, towel, headlamp, cap or hat, mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Participants may want also to bring their own snack.

 

11. Tres Palmas Marine Reserve (Coordinated by Dr. Hector Ruiz-Torres from Reefscaping Inc.)

More details will follow.