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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House urged to act on proposed nature reserve in Rincón



The proposed reserve off Domes Beach in Rincón is characterized by an extensive development of maple horn coral, in addition to being a nesting place for sea turtles, such as the leatherback and hawksbill, among others.

By The Star Staff


At-large Rep. José “Che” Pérez Cordero asked the island House of Representatives on Monday to approve House Bill 709, which creates the Domes Beach Nature Reserve in Rincón with the aim of promoting the conservation of the environment for future generations.


The measure, filed on May 3, 2021, has been in the House Natural Resources, Environmental Affairs and Recycling Committee since May 11, 2021. The lawmaker called on the committee to send the bill to the House floor for evaluation.


“This is a bill of great interest for the conservation of Puerto Rico’s environment,” Pérez Cordero said. “This reserve is located in an ecologically sensitive area that deserves this type of protection. The area is characterized by an extensive development of maple horn coral, in addition to being a nesting place for sea turtles, such as the leatherback and the hawksbill, among others. It is also the mating and lactation site for humpback whales and fin whales, and includes sandy beaches, pristine valleys and one of the best places for surfing. That is why we urge that the measure be approved.”


The proposed reserve is located immediately off the coast of Rincón to the west of the island. It includes land owned by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which has about 400 acres where the former BONUS nuclear plant is located.


The reserve would be demarcated by a reef zone which would require the highest degree of protection for the conservation of its biodiversity and its proper management, as provided for in the management plan to be adopted. It extends up to half a nautical mile of territorial waters from the interior limit of the maritime-terrestrial zone at Domes Beach.


Also on Monday, the House Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing to address another measure that aims to establish the “Underwater Gardens of Vega Baja and Manatí Natural Reserve” off the island’s northern coast.

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