Posts Tagged ‘San Juan Bay’

Mar 20, 2013

Puerto Rico Estuary Clean Up

Below is a summary of the Mega Limpieza in Puerto Rico. Proudly sponsored by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, 500 volunteers managed to clean up over 28,000 pounds of litter and waste that has collected in the lagoons and estuaries of San Juan Bay Puerto Rico. These mangrove lined lagoons are home to some of the richest inland fisheries on the island. This clean up effort was the result of a blog written by our good friend Doug Olander, editor of Sport Fishing Magazine.

—Bill Shedd

 Mega Limpieza – San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico

The “Mega Limpieza” (translated Mega Clean Up) , took place March 16, 2013 in the lagoons and estuaries of San Juan Bay in Puerto Rico. San Juan Bay offers up world class fishing, especially those looking to chase trophy Tarpon. Also home to the lagoons and estuaries are beautiful herons and ospreys that constantly fly overhead to make a bird watcher’s paradise.

However, amidst the prime fishery and lush environment lies ugly scenes of littered trash tucked into the mangroves. Some of the trash was dumped by locals, but much of it is estimated to drift in from the rivers that flow into the estuary and lagoon from highlands to the South. Poor waste disposal and plain carelessness resulted in the creation of a mess that could deteriorate a unique and special estuary.

Volunteers display their catch, of a different sort.

Over 500 volunteers participated in the Mega Limpieza, picking up over 28,000 pounds of trash and debris from San Juan Bay this past Saturday. Volunteer campaigns were organized by Israel Umpierre’s Pesca, Playa, and Ambiente Group & Jose Aponte’s Kayakeros Association of Kayakers. Both  Umpierre and Aponte decided to take action after reading a column by Doug Olander in Sport Fishing Magazine.

Kayakers on the shore after their work was done -- see their work behind them.

The clean up efforts were sponsored in part by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to support the good cause. Once backed by the GHOF the Mega Limpieza took own a movement of more sponsors, volunteers and government officials signed up to help.

The Mega Limpieza drew big attention. Two members of Puerto Rico’s executive branch were on hand for the entire clean up. The clean up efforts were also televised by Univision, Telemundo, and Pescando en Los Cayos, the only spanish language fishing show in the U.S.

After kayakers in the mangroves filled up bags, these were picked up by motorboats operated by tarpon fishing captains.