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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

DNER launches request for proposals to manage La Parguera

The ecosystem-based management project for La Parguera Natural Reserve is part of the island government’s Coral Reef Conservation and Management Program, which aims to improve the southwest region’s sustainability and biodiversity.

By The Star Staff

Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega announced Wednesday the launching of a request for proposals (RFP) for an ecosystem-based management of La Parguera Natural Reserve.

She said the project is part of the DNER’s Coral Reef Conservation and Management Program, which aims to improve the region’s sustainability and biodiversity.

“La Parguera is more than a nature reserve; it is a symbol of our ecological wealth and a testimony to Puerto Rico’s intrinsic beauty,” the island’s top environmental official said. “Through this request for proposals and as part of Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi’s public policy, we seek not only to preserve its splendor but also to ensure its resilience in the face of current and future environmental challenges.”

Located in the southwestern region of the island, La Parguera Natural Reserve is a coastal sector of high tourist importance designated as part of the Boquerón Island Forest in 1919 by the U.S. Forest Service and declared a natural reserve in 1974. It extends from La Pitahaya in Cabo Rojo to Punta Jorobado in Guánica, spanning the coastline of Lajas and including 27 keys and islets. The natural area is home to coral reefs, including four endangered species, seagrass meadows, fisheries, mangrove forests and bioluminescent bays, serving as home to manatees, threatened sea turtles and native birds.

Given the popularity of the reserve for recreational activities and the increasing pressure on its ecosystem, RFP NA23-002-2024-CRCMP seeks proposals that address management challenges by reviewing and evaluating the “Special Planning Area” management plan of the southeastern sector of La Parguera.

Proponents must also identify land-based pollution sources, assess major recreational and boating uses, and develop management recommendations to minimize management challenges, focusing on creating no-take zones.

This two-year project, funded by the fiscal year 2023 federal contribution NA23NOS482013, represents a critical step toward a sustainable future for La Parguera, emphasizing the need for effective management and restoration of its vital ecosystems.

The DNER will accept proposals until next Wednesday, April 10. The selection will be based on the applicant’s demonstrated ability to create an ecosystem-based management plan that meets the formats and expectations established by the DNER. For more information, interested parties can access

“We invite all sectors, from academia to non-governmental organizations, to join us in this vital effort to protect and preserve this precious ecosystem for generations to come,” Rodríguez Vega said.

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