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YEAR 2009 - CRP Project #4001C (Caribbean)

Project #4001C
Community-Driven Restoration
of the Coastal Punta Tuna Natural Reserve

Maunabo, Puerto Rico

Habitat Identification - click to enlarge
Habitat Identification in the Punta Tuna Natural Reserve

Project name:   Community-Driven Restoration of the Coastal Punta Tuna Natural Reserve  
Project number:   4001C  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   MAR Management Solutions  
Project location:   Maunabo, Puerto Rico  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $32,825  
Land Ownership:   Public  
Lat/Long:   17.989719N / 65.885414W  
Types of Habitat:   Turtle nesting beach, mangrove wetland, brackish/freshwater marsh, coral reef  
Project leader:   Eileen Alicea, President
MAR Management Solutions, LLC
8045 Newell St. Suite #208
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
   • Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
   • Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
   • Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
   • White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
   • Button Mangrove (Conocarpus erectus)
   • Atlantic Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)
   • White Mullet and Liza (Mugil curema y Mugil liza)
   • Fat sleeper (Dormitator maculatus)
   • Spinycheek sleeper (Eleotris pisoni)
   • Coral Reef

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 1 acre

Project Summary:
Comitι Pro-desarrollo de Maunabo (CM; citizens group) initiated and achieved the naming of the Punta Tuna Reserve by the Puerto Rico Legislature and the Governor, followed by purchasing of the land by DNER. They are now committed to restoring and co-managing the coastal reserve by taking a comprehensive approach. The project will achieve coastal habitat protection and restoration by removing physical barriers that interfere with the ecological integrity of the NR and constructing them at key places that will protect the habitat from trampling by vehicles, cattle, and horses. The project will also achieve planting of appropriate coastal vegetation in turtle nesting and mangrove forest areas. This action will prevent marine turtles from becoming disoriented by the lights in an outdoor recreational area and will also prevent potential sedimentation and animal waste from reaching the mangrove area.

Project Objectives:

  • To plant 7 of the 14 native species recommended in the NR characterization document for the ocean-side and land-side fringes of mangrove forest and turtle nesting beach area
  • To involve the Maunabo community in on-the-ground vegetation restoration, education and monitoring activities
  • To educate beach and Natural Reserve users on the importance of habitat conservation and appropriate behaviors and practices
  • To remove and construct barriers that will protect NR habitat from human uses (trampling and/or compacting by cars, cows, and horses)

On-The-Ground Activities:

  • Install metal guardrails at key spots along the land side of the turtle nesting beach that will prevent cars and off-road vehicles from transiting on the nesting beach (approximate length of installation is 150 m)
  • Construct a fence on the boundary of the Natural Reserve and the road to prevent cattle from entering the Reserve to pasture and contaminate the mangrove and brackish water habitats
  • Plant native vegetation on the turtle nesting beach and on the fringe of the adjacent developed area (this latter activity will prevent turtles from becoming disoriented)
  • Plant native vegetation in the mangrove area to reduce sedimentation
  • Eliminate illegally constructed fences that maintain cattle in certain sections of the Reserve
  • Conduct educational activities

Community Involvement:
Schools and community members will participate in educational workshops, removal of barriers, and vegetation planting projects. A partnership led by the active local citizens group CM (Comitι Maunabo) will implement this project as CM accomplished in the designation of the Natural Reserve. CM and DNER will coordinate restoration activities that will result in turtle nesting and mangrove habitat restoration. CM will coordinate vegetative restoration activities for several patches of land that will total 1 cuerda (0.97 acre) and provide the volunteer workforce. CM and DNER will coordinate and conduct community education workshops to promote participation and understanding of the project restoration activities.


Site Visit Video
Site Visit Video

PowerPoint of CRP #4001C

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

MAR Management Solutions
MAR Management Solutions

Comite Pro Desarollo de Maunabo

Puerto Rico DNER

Municipality of Maunabo

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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