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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Effort afoot to rescue sick coral reefs in Culebra

By The Star Staff

Kayaking Puerto Rico and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources are promoting a plan to rescue the sick coral reefs located in Tamarindo Beach in Culebra, officials announced Wednesday.

Kayaking Puerto Rico President Percy Rier said in a written communication that “our company is committed to the protection of ecosystems and the environment, promoting the use and enjoyment of our natural resources in a responsible manner.”

“That is why the coral disease was immediately identified; we made ourselves available to Natural Resources to start the healing project,” he said.

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, or SCTLD, is a disease that causes the death of coral polyp tissue through suspected bacterial pathogens. Fortunately, recent studies have shown that amoxicillin slows the spread of the disease when applied to coral colonies.

“The coral reef is a substantial part of our natural resources, since they not only provide a home for thousands of marine species, but are also a tourist attraction in the area and activate the local economy thanks to the eco-friendly tours they offer environmentally responsible companies like ours,” said Ashley Pérez, a biologist and manager of Kayaking Puerto Rico’s Aquafari Culebra tour.

World Planet Earth Day, which is this Friday, serves as a framework to launch the initiative by carrying out the first medication application carried out by Kayaking Puerto Rico aboard the ship El Kraken.

“It is our commitment to protect and promote education about the natural resources of the Luis Peña Nature Reserve and Tamarindo Beach where several colonies of infected corals live, and this antibiotic treatment of the reefs will help us provide health to one of our most precious natural resources,” Pérez said.

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