Whether you are a water sports lover or someone who appreciates marine life and its habitat or enjoying a day at the beach, you may like doing something that contributes for the conservation of coastal zones’ ecosystem and its home. One of the many ways to perform this is monitoring water quality. If we caught your attention and you reside in or are visiting Puerto Rico, you might be interested in learning about the Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Program managed by Arrecifes Pro Ciudad, Inc., a nonprofit organization which fosters conservation in a precious natural area: Isla Verde Reef Marine Reserve. This program contributes to coral reef and other marine life protection in such site as it helps determine the presence or absence of water constituents and conditions that can affect these.
Below we summarize basic information about this Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Program, based on an interview to the Program’s Coordinator, Francisco “Paco” López Mújica.
Arrecifes Pro Ciudad’s Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Program:
(a) To measure water’s turbidity, temperature, pH, conductivity, salinity, and dissolved oxygen in bodies of water part of Isla Verde Reef Marine Reserve,
(b) To collaborate efforts for purposes of bacteria laboratory tests on water samples,
(c) To collect water quality data for purposes of interpretation and reports to be submitted, as applicable, to certain Arrecifes Pro Ciudad’s allies and collaborators, such as Surfrider Foundation’s Rincón Chapter, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as to other entities that seek or promote environmental conservation (e.g.: Puerto Rico Natural Resources Dept.)
Pursuant to a current alliance between Arrecifes Pro Ciudad and Surfrider Foundation’s Rincón Chapter (Blue Water Task Force program), the latter supplies some materials for purposes of bacteria laboratory tests on water samples, to be performed by Arrecifes Pro Ciudad. EPA also collaborates with these efforts since it has lent equipment to Arrecifes Pro Ciudad for purposes of these bacteria laboratory tests.
2) Volunteer works
Water quality monitoring tasks such as:
(a) submerging a multiparameter water quality meter on body of water while another person reads meter’s data regarding turbidity, temperature, pH, conductivity, salinity, and dissolved oxygen,
(b) manually measuring water’s turbidity by means of a turbidity tube in the event that strong waves are present during the water quality monitoring activity, and
(c) gathering water samples for subsequent bacteria laboratory tests.
Arrecifes Pro Ciudad engages in additional tasks to comply with the Program’s objectives. As volunteers show commitment to the Program, there is a possibility to do other works which currently are performed by Arrecifes Pro Ciudad’s administration.
3) Places where volunteer services may be performed
Subject to Arrecifes Pro Ciudad’s agenda, volunteer works may be carried out in any of the following areas on the coastal region of Municipality of Carolina:
(a) Carolina Beach (Balneario de Carolina),
(b) Pine Grove Beach,
(c) La Playita Beach,
(d) Boca de Cangrejos, or
(e) Isla Verde Beach area near Isla Verde Reef Marine Reserve’s information booth.
Place to visit for volunteer works varies weekly.
4) Available days and times for volunteer works
Wednesdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, subject to prior scheduling. Volunteers may specify the amount of time they are willing to render services within this time frame.
5) Minimum required qualifications to participate as volunteer
(a) Minors who are at least 10 years old and adults may participate. Schools may coordinate student field trips for volunteer works.
(b) Minors may participate subject to prior written authorization by parent or legal guardian. Minors need to be supervised by parent or legal guardian during the volunteer activity, or accompanied by a school representative during school field trips.
(c) Participate in a workshop about water quality monitoring and Isla Verde Reef’s Marine Reserve, given by Arrecifes Pro Ciudad (2-3 hours). This workshop is usually given on Saturdays, subject to prior reservation.
(d) Fill out Waiver of Responsibility Form to be provided by Arrecifes Pro Ciudad.
6) Contact information
To learn more about the program or schedule time to volunteer, you may send an email message to Arrecifes Pro Ciudad. E: email@example.com W: https://arrecifeislaverde.com
Join forces with Arrecifes Pro Ciudad to check the quality of the natural resource that shelters marine life and to help conserve Isla Verde Reef Marine Reserve. As this organization is devoted to help protect this natural area and its ecosystem, it engages in additional projects to do so. Thus, volunteering your time and effort under Arrecifes Pro Ciudad’s Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer Program would not only leave a valuable footprint, but also be a worthy learning experience.