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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

DNER urges people not to leave garbage on beaches

Interim Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega

By John McPhaul

Interim Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega urged people who plan to celebrate the Night of San Juan today, on the island’s beaches or other bodies of water, to deposit the garbage they generate in garbage cans or take it with them and place it in the nearest garbage can or dispose of it at their homes.

“The Night of San Juan is a long tradition that we all enjoy. And we must also make the tradition of not throwing garbage on the beaches, rivers, streams and lakes,” the official said in a written statement. “The waste that is left, such as plastic, cans, glass, among others, is deadly for marine species, some of them in danger of extinction. Only with active citizen collaboration will we succeed in protecting and conserving natural resources.”

Today from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., citizens will be able to enjoy this tradition at public beaches: Monserrate in Luquillo, Sun Bay in Vieques, Seven Seas in Fajardo, Punta Salinas in Toa Baja, Manuel Nolo Morales in Dorado, Cerro Gordo in Vega Alta, Boquerón Spa in Cabo Rojo and Caña Gorda in Guánica.

The contamination of the sands and the seas has become a real problem, the official said. Although the DNER, municipalities, and non-governmental and volunteer organizations regularly clean the beaches, the problem persists.

“It is also my obligation to remind citizens who have not yet developed environmental awareness that throwing garbage outside of trash cans in public areas is a violation of environmental laws. There is no small environmental violation,” Rodríguez Vega said. “Likewise, I request that bathers and divers follow the safety measures established by Law 430 on Navigation and Aquatic Safety.”

She announced that Vigilance Corps agents will be active today, during Night of San Juan celebrations from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. Friday morning. Land and sea units will redouble efforts and intensify patrolling along the coasts, where thousands of people come to celebrate the holiday.

Rodríguez Vega added that bathers must be careful and respect the nests of sea turtles and that they should not approach the areas demarcated by turtle groups.

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