Project Description

The Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico emerges as a response to the necessity of recognizing as a social problem the deaths caused by drowning in our Puerto Rican beaches, which even if it is ignored by some, it profoundly marks the lives of others. Unawareness, lack of beach security, and the absence of lifeguards in the majority of beaches has taken a great number of lives. It is in the coast where during the whole year a great number of people decide to participate in recreational activities; within this same space, approximately 30 people lose their lives each year.

Ensuring the life of those that entertain themselves at the beach has been and will continue to be an arduous task. The Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico strives towards the development of conscientious and practical strategies that will guarantee human life and will promote the full enjoyment of the natural resources that can be found at the beach. The coastal zone and its processes are characterized by a high level of complexity. For this reason, the Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico will promote participative action through: educational programs, the design of didactic material, and the dispersal of said material. Life is an inalienable right that the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program’s Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico will defend at all cost.

History

The Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico began on September 2010 based on the concern expressed by the director of the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program, Mr. Ruperto Chaparro Serrano. It was not until November 2010 that it was given an official name. This project manages to come together after multiple efforts that were undertaken throughout previous years by Mr. Chaparro, who for nearly two decades has felt the desire to develop accessible and large-scale strategies that would promote aquatic safety in Puerto Rican beaches. Alongside Mr. Chaparro, a countless number of lifeguards in Puerto Rico manifested their desire to contribute to the effort of reducing the quantity of deaths caused by drowning that are registered in our beaches.

Mission

Our goal is to join together all the necessary endeavors in order to transform our beaches into safe destinations, suitable for marine recreation, for fishing, for sports, and for all the activities that these areas offer us. Promoting aquatic safety, for Puerto Ricans as well as for the tourists that visit us, constitutes a challenge that we are willing to face. In order to accomplish this, we consider easily accessible environmental educational as a key element of this endeavor, apt for all ages, and it must allow us, through various strategies, to provide knowledge that will contribute to the saving of lives.

Vision

The Project for Aquatic Safety in Puerto Rico has as its goal the implementation, in various coastal municipalities of our Island, of a pilot project named Oceanic Coastal Rescues (ROC, its Spanish acronym). The primary objective of this pilot project is to establish the basis for what a safe beach should be. In the long run, we expect that the coastal municipalities in Puerto Rico will make ROC an important program within the administrative agenda of each municipality, that will order the coast, and that will distinguish our beaches as paradisiacal destinations as well as safe ones.

Education

By educating ourselves we can save our lives and the lives of our loved ones. For educational talks or orientations contact Berliz Morales at the following numbers: (787) 832 – 8045 or (787) 832 – 3585 or by writing us through berlizm@gmail.com.

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