The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Corporacion del Proyecto ENLACE del Cano Martin Pena have signed an agreement to assist in the restoration of the ecosystem of the Martin Pena canal.
The agreement, detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding, provides the foundation for close collaboration between the entities to carry out the Cano Martin Pena Ecosystem Restoration Project, which will address long-term challenges facing those living near the canal.
“The pollution problems that plague Cano Martin Pena and the health risks they pose to the community are serious,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This agreement is an important step toward addressing these serious problems by coordinating the efforts of the federal government, Puerto Rico, and the community.”
The ecosystem restoration plan calls for the restoration of tidal connectivity between the San José Lagoon and the San Juan Bay by dredging and removing over 800,000 cubic yards of sediment, debris and trash, which will improve 6,600 acres of habitat in the San Juan Bay Estuary, improve water quality and boost biodiversity.
The agreement indicates that the parties intend to incorporate sustainable practices during the dredging process.