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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Scuba Dogs Society says it did not endorse Normandie hotel project

El Normandie hotel in San Juan

By The Star Staff

The environmental nonprofit Scuba Dogs Society (SDS) clarified on Wednesday that it has never endorsed the proposed project for the Normandie hotel in the El Escambrón area of San Juan.

“We disallow any person or organization that indicates or suggests that the Scuba Dogs Society endorsed the project,” SDS spokesman Herman Colberg and ecologist Ariel E. Lugo said in a written statement. “The Scuba Dogs Society does not endorse private projects.”

The SDS has been part of the conservation and improvement efforts of El Escambrón for the past 20 years, so the organization considers that integrated planning in ecological and social harmony must be made at the site, taking into consideration the community and the best scientific criteria, the statement said. That has always been the approach of the SDS to all the coasts and natural spaces in Puerto Rico, a position that is reflected in “The Manifesto: Call to the Inhabitants of Puerto Rico,” which was approved at the 10th Enrique Martí Coll Ecourbanism Congress in 2021, the statement noted.

The document is an urban planning guide with a vision of long-term sustainable socioeconomic development and where the most important positions of the organization and its collaborators are listed.

Colberg and Lugo added that confusion exists with entity names, because the owner of the Scuba Dogs aquatic school — which adjoins the facilities of the Normandie hotel and has operated in El Escambrón since 2010 — made some statements about the project. The spokesmen clarified that the Scuba Dogs aquatic center is a separate private entity from the SDS, although its owner serves on the SDS board of directors.

“Statements made in a personal capacity by members of the Board of Directors of the Scuba Dogs Society or Scuba Dogs aquatic school do not represent the views of our organization,” Colberg and Lugo said.

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