Water Sports at Cabo Rojo Lighthouse Waters. Photographer Efraín Figueroa for Sea Grant Puerto Rico

Surfeando P.R.

This map is published for informational purposes only. The user of this map acknowledges that the information contained may not reflect the existing conditions at all times on the beaches included, as these depend on the weather conditions existing at any given moment. Furthermore, the user acknowledges that the information contained may contain inaccuracies and errors. The use of the information contained in this map and the notes included should under no circumstances be interpreted as an invitation to use such beaches for surfing. The user releases both the content creator and the publisher of this information, whether a natural or legal person, their directors, representatives, agents, and employees, from any liability for damages that may be suffered when using the identified beaches for surfing or any other sporting, recreational, or commercial activity.

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Aquatic Safety for Puerto Rico

The Aquatic Safety Project for Puerto Rico arises in response to the need to recognize drownings on our Puerto Rican beaches as a social issue which, while ignored by some, represents a very deep impact for others. Ignorance, lack of safety at beaches, and the absence of lifeguards in many of them are claiming a large number of lives. It is on the coastline where countless people decide to recreate throughout the year; it is in this same space where the lives of approximately 30 people end each year.

Ensuring the lives of those who enjoy themselves there has been and will continue to be a daunting task. The Aquatic Safety Project for Puerto Rico aims to develop viable and conscientious strategies that guarantee human life and promote the full enjoyment of the resources found there. The coastal zone and its processes are characterized by their high degree of complexity. For this reason, the Aquatic Safety Project for Puerto Rico will promote participatory management through: educational programs, design of didactic materials, and their dissemination. Life is an inalienable right that the Aquatic Safety Project for Puerto Rico of the Sea Grant Program at the University of Puerto Rico will defend at all costs.

Instructional Material

Policy Proposals

Aquatic Safety Assessment & Recommendations – Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Video on aquatic safety

History

The Aquatic Safety Project begins in September 2010 following a concern expressed by the director of the Sea Grant Program at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez, Mr. Ruperto Chaparro Serrano. It wasn’t until November 2010 that it acquired its official name. This project materialized after multiple actions taken in previous years by Mr. Chaparro, who, for more than two decades, had felt the desire to design accessible and large-scale strategies to promote aquatic safety on Puerto Rican beaches. In addition to Mr. Chaparro, numerous open-water lifeguards from Puerto Rico expressed their desire to contribute to reducing drowning deaths recorded on our beaches.

Mission

Our goal is to unite the necessary efforts to turn our beaches into safe destinations suitable for marine recreation, fishing, sports, and all activities that these spaces offer us. Promoting aquatic safety, both for Puerto Ricans and for tourists who visit us, constitutes a challenge that we are willing to face. For this, we consider environmental education accessible to all ages to be key, in which, through different strategies, we can provide knowledge that will contribute to saving lives.

Vision

The Aquatic Safety Project for Puerto Rico aims to implement, in various coastal municipalities of our Island, a pilot project called Coastal Ocean Rescues (COR). The pilot project aims to lay the groundwork for what a safe beach should be. In the long term, it is intended that the coastal municipalities of Puerto Rico make COR an important program within the municipal administrative agenda, which orders the coastline and highlights our beaches as both paradisiacal and safe destinations.

Education

By educating ourselves, we can save our lives and those of our loved ones. Call us at (787) 832-3585 or write to us at seagrant@uprm.edu for educational talks or guidance.

Links to Other Websites

Tourism and Recreation

In the Sea Grant Program at UPR, we promote sustainable tourism and marine recreation. Beaches and coastal areas attract a wide variety of people who often have conflicts as they compete for the use of the same space, which is limited for incompatible uses. For example, according to Puerto Rico law, beaches are public resources, but the lack of effective patterns in coastal development and planning has severely limited physical and visual access to many beaches by the public.

Today, Puerto Rico does not have a coherent management plan that guarantees clean and safe conditions for beach users. Based on our research, we propose that Puerto Rico establish a Department of Beach Management and Safety with its own budget in relation to tourism and marine recreation income. We understand that this will protect the resource that attracts more tourists and money to the local economy: our beaches.

We also understand that some marine recreation activities jeopardize the conservation of coastal resources, which is why we promote public participation in passive marine recreation activities (e.g., non-motorized boats, diving, etc.) as a means of improving the quality of life for Puerto Ricans and the sustainable development of our coastal and marine resources. Regularly, our recreation and tourism specialist advises the tourism industry on the need to promote sustainable practices that conserve this vital economic sector. Sea Grant also advises government agencies and private marinas on how they can develop marine recreation facilities, services, and infrastructure that are in harmony with conservation efforts.


Ocean Park beach in San Juan, PR

Autorizado por la Comisión Estatal de Elecciones CEE-SA-16-893

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