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YEAR 2008 - CRP Project #3002C (Caribbean)

Project #3002C
Restoration of Mangrove Tidal Channels in the
Piñones State Forest and Natural Preserve

Municipality of Loíza, Puerto Rico

Piñones State Forest map - click to enlarge
Map showing study sites in relation to Piñones State Forest

Project name:   Restoration of Mangrove Tidal Channels in the Piñones State Forest & Natural Preserve  
Project number:   3002C  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Puerto Rico DNER  
Project location:   Municipality of Loíza, Puerto Rico  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $24,000  
Land Ownership:   Public  
Lat/Long:   18.43 dd, -65.96 dd  
Types of Habitat:   Mangroves, tidal channels and coastal lagoons  
Project leader:   Doreen Parés Jordán
Forest Manager
Piñones State Forest and Natural Reserve
PO BOX 366147
San Juan PR 00936

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
   • White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
   • Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
   • Button Mangrove (Conocarpus erectus)
   • Striped Mojarra (Diapterus plumieri)
   • Flagfin Mojarra (Eucinostomus melanopterus)
   • Bigmouth Sleeper (Gobiomurus dormitator)
   • Silver Mullet, White Mullet (Mugil curema),
   • Liza (Mugil liza)
   • Fantail Mullet (Mugil trichodon)
   • Reef Croaker (Odontoscion dentex)
   • Barbu (Polydactylus virginicus)
   • Schoolmaster Snapper (Lutjanus apodus)
   • Longjaw (Strongylura timucu)
   • Bay Whiff (Citharichtnys spilopterus)
   • Horse-eye Jack (Caranx latus)
   • Swordspine Snook (Centropomus ensiferus)
   • Common Snook (Centropomus undecimalis)
   • Tilapia (Tilapia melanopleura)
   • Mozambique Tilapia (Tilapia mossambica)
   • Ladyfish (Elops saurus)
   • Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)
   • Atlantic Anchoveta (Cetengraulis edentulus)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 8 acres

Project Summary:
The Piñones State Forest is the largest mangrove forest that remains in Puerto Rico and is part of the San Juan Bay Estuary (SJBE). It is administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Forest Management Division. The Forest has a variety of important ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes, channels and coastal lagoons. It supports a rich biological diversity. The two main lagoons are Torrecillas Lagoon and Piñones Lagoon. Piñones Lagoon has an area of 103 ha, with a mean depth of 0.8m, a maximum depth of 1.3m and an approximate volume of 0.8x106 m3. It has no direct communication with the sea and receives the intrusion of fresh and/or brackish water from the mangrove to the east and the Torrecillas Lagoon through the Piñones channel. This lagoon is the only one close to the San Juan Metropolitan area that has not been dredged. The human activities in this lagoon, including recreation, are minimal.
The restoration of mangrove tidal channels will benefit the health of the Piñones Lagoon and the overall health of the estuary and the fish and wildlife that depend on it. The Piñones channel is approximately 650m long, 4m wide and approximately 1.5 m in depth. This channel has become obstructed by fallen trees related to hurricane damage in the past. A smaller unnamed channel in the western edge of the lagoon has suffered sedimentation and restricts the flow of water to the northern part of the lagoon. This smaller channel is less than 100m in length.
This restoration responds to needs identified in the Piñones State Forest Master Plan, the San Juan Bay Estuary Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan and has also been requested by people that live in neighboring communities. The community is willing to participate in this effort in a volunteer capacity. This project will consist of the removal of debris obstructions and pruning of overlying mangrove branches where needed in the Piñones Channel and the removal of accumulated sediment (less than 200m3 or 260yd3) in the smaller unnamed channel. This effort will be through low-impact methods, and no heavy machinery will be used.

Project Objectives:
The objective of this project is to restore mangrove-coastal lagoon habitat by the restoration and maintenance of mangrove channels in the Piñones State Forest. This will improve water quality in the Piñones Lagoon with the benefit to the San Juan Bay Estuary System, mangrove ecosystem, fish and wildlife, and recreation activities.

Community Involvement:

  • Orient the community about the importance and value of the mangroves
  • Conduct visits and workshops for teachers and students of the only elementary school in Piñones
  • Integrate leaders and people of the community in volunteer work.


GMF conducts site visits
for Caribbean CRP projects

GMF staff in Caribbean - click to view slide show

August 2008 - GMF staff travels to Caribbean to conduct site visits for CRP projects in USVI and Puerto Rico.

Site Visit Video
Site Visit Video

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Click on photo to enlarge

Torrecillas Swamp System map - click to enlarge
Torrecillas Swamp System map

Debris clogging Piñones channel - click to enlarge
Large debris clogging Piñones channel

Drop roots clog Piñones channel - click to enlarge
Drop roots clog Piñones channel

Sediment accretion - click to enlarge
Sediment accretion on nearby shoreline

Sediment accretion in channel - click to enlarge
Sediment accretion in channel

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Puerto Rico DNER

Corporación Piñones se Integra (COPI)

San Juan Bay Estuary Program

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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