Good news for the coral reefs of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as the government is going to receive more than $300,000 in federal funds to help protect and manage its coral reefs. According to an AP report, the island’s natural resources department will receive the money from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said that part of the money will be used to hire a coral reef coordinator who will oversee most aspects of a coral reef protection program.
The commonwealth is about to launch several initiatives to help protect coral reefs and is expected to update its environmental laws to institute more protections for the reefs around the island.
Puerto Rico will receive more than $300,000 in funding to help protect its coral reefs. Photo by NOAA
Puerto Rico’s reefs and other reef systems throughout much of the Caribbean have experienced significant declines since the 1970s. They have been damaged or destroyed by a variety of factors, including disease, overfishing, sediment runoff, pollution, climate change and many other issues. The decline in parrotfish and sea urchins, which are key species that help to control algae has also been one of the factors resulting in these declines.