The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $249,487 to the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources to support wetlands protection across the commonwealth.
“Wetlands provide enormous environmental benefits and serve as essential habitats for fish and wildlife,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Wetlands reduce and filter runoff that pollutes local waterways, particularly in urban areas, and control flooding by absorbing rain. This EPA funding will enhance the ability to assess and protect Puerto Rico’s wetlands.”
The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources will use this EPA grant to test new procedures to evaluate the condition of Puerto Rico’s wetlands. Wetland experts in Puerto Rico are currently refining a method for assessing wetlands in a Caribbean environment.
The DNER will use the refined method to evaluate the potential impacts of human activity and climate change on Puerto Rico’s wetlands and to evaluate its effectiveness. The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources will contribute $100,000 toward the total cost of this project.
Since 1990, EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants have provided financial assistance to help build or refine state and local government wetland programs. These funds provide opportunities for environmental agencies to conduct research and help build the science behind comprehensive wetlands programs at the local level.
Recipients of these grants are required to contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the cost of the project.