The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been helping to protect local beaches nation-wide for over 20 years. The Rincón Chapter (http://www.surfrider.org/rincon) helps to maintain the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve (TPMR), created in 2004, at Rincón, PR. On March 4, 2010, we met with the executive committee (Chairperson – Wess Merten) to inquire about the type of studies and/or information needed for better management and conservation of TPMR.
Their response was the following:
- Need more information regarding the age of maturity for fishes, particularly female, in order to effectively manage catches.
- Provide mandatory educational courses for local fishermen (e.g., needed for licence renewal) to obligate their participation in workshops regarding about overfishing. Use the media (signs, stickers, etc.) to get local fishermen to cooperate in better fisheries management.
- Consistent monitoring of water quality. Surfrider measured water quality for several months; however, they are currently looking for extra funds to continue this project due to frequent visitors to TPMR. Presently, there is no data from the USGS for this particular area.
- Studies on the flux of visitors (PR residents and tourists) in order to determine socio-economic impacts (e.g., surf and scuba economics) and carrying capacity of the area. This information would help to establish a baseline of the amount of people visiting TPMR and how many visitors the area is able to accommodate.
- Studies on the impacts of climate change and how this will affect TPMR. Encourage local communities to take an active role in recycling activities.
- Develop mechanisms to better enforce laws that protect public beach access.
You can check out the latest activities on the local chapter’s blog at http://rinconsurfrider.blogspot.com/
More information about Tres Palmas, Rincón:
Salva Tres Palmas – The Film (from Vimeo)
Salvemos a Tres Palmas (YouTube)
Photo courtesy: Surfrider – Rincón Chapter