Saturday June 13, 2015 Volunteer Beach Cleanup:
Today, the Municipal Administration of Luquillo, including Luquillo’s Mayor, joined FURA Maritime Unit and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA in Spanish) of Puerto Rico in a clean up effort of area beaches.
Volunteers, city workers, rescue divers, and many more individuals from both organizations showed up to help clean up our coastline. The focus was on underwater cleanup, where divers went into the shore waters and removed trash, like plastic bottles, cans, glass, and other man-made debris.
Volunteers also walked the beaches with trash bags and picked up any and all litter along the way. Some volunteer groups started from La Pared and others from Rio Mar and even spread out into areas boarding El Yunque.
Although there were some initial problems with spreading the word about the effort, many individuals showed up to help.
The city beach behind Luquillo Kiosks was in need of most care with rubbish covering much of the shoreline. Unfortunately, this beach has not been regularly cleaned because it serves mainly as a back parking lot and dumpster storage to the Kiosks. It also has a history of being used as a “party place” for those individuals that don’t want to pay the parking fees of the adjacent Monserrate Beach Park.
The good news is that the Mayor, Jesus “Jerry” Márquez Rodríguez, has a plan for cleaning up the area behind the Kiosks that should result with better utilization of this beautiful spot and a cleaner beach. Today, you can find an information tent in this area, in which the Municipality, FURA, and DRNA are providing info about improving our environment.
While the volunteers were mostly focused on the cleanup, they also marked and staked off new Leatherback turtle nests while walking along La Pared beach.
Cleanup efforts are expected to continue throughout the day.
As new permanent residents of Luquillo, we want to thank all the volunteers, the City, the Mayor, and both organizations (FURA and DRNA) for their efforts to keep our beaches clean, natural, and beautiful.