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Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program. Earth Observation Support for Sustainable Tourism in Small Island States March 9-11, 2011, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program. Mission:

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puerto rico coastal zone management program

Department of Natural and Environmental Resources

Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program

Earth Observation Support for Sustainable Tourism

in Small Island StatesMarch 9-11, 2011, Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program


The Puerto Rico Coastal Management Program (PRCZMP) is a partnership led by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) to promote the protection, conservation, and sustainable development of Puerto Rico’s coastal zone and coastal resources.


Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program

Goals and Objectives:

Develop guides for public and private development on

the coastal zone;

Conduct active management of coastal resources;

Foster scientific research, education, stakeholders and

resource users participation as means of promoting

sustainable development of our coastal resources


Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program

Key Priorities:

Increase knowledge about trends of resource abundance and distribution.

Increase understanding of interspecies and species-habitat relationships.

Contribute to increase knowledge about climate change, sea level rise and their impact on terrestrial, coastal, marine natural and socioeconomic systems.

Effectively address human use patterns that may affect resource sustainability and biodiversity.

Protectcoastalwetlands and coral reefsystemsfromkeystressors.

Conductcoastalcommunitiesvulnerabilityassessments and developadaptationstrategiestocurrenthazardsand climatechange.

puerto rico relevant statistics

Emerged land area: 9,497 km2 (3,508 mi ²)

Territorial waters: 9 nm (10.35 stat. mi)

Population: 3.9 million (26th U.S. largest )

Coastal Zone Population: 2.73 million (70%) / 40% urban land area

GDP: ~$ 95.7 billion/yr

Composition by sector (2009):

  • Manufacturing: 45.5%
  • Finance, insurance and real estate: 19%
  • Services: 12.8% (Tourism: 7%)
  • Government: 9.7%
  • Trade: 7.8%
  • Transportation and public utilities: 3.2%
  • Construction: 1.9%
  • Agriculture: 0.7%

Source: PRPB and BGF 2010



  • Eight ports
  • Eight airports
  • Six power plants
  • 1,080 miles of sanitary infrastructure
  • 81 Industrial lots
  • 114 miles of primary roads
major coral reef stressors
Major Coral Reef Stressors
  • Climate Change
  • Land-based Sources of Pollution
  • Fisheries Impact
  • Disease
  • Recreational Overuse
  • Lack of Awareness
climate change impacts on wetlands
Climate Change impacts on wetlands
  • Changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level rise and salinization would have an impact on plant species of tidal freshwater wetlands and migratory bird habitats. Plant species along rivers might be able to migrate to more inland areas.
  • The ability of wetlands to migrate inland to areas of decreasing tidal inundation along undeveloped shores is a way coastal wetlands can persist in spite of rising seas (Ross et al., 2000).
  • In many areas coastal development just above the extreme high tide line has limited or eliminated opportunities for wetland migration, a phenomenon that has been labeled “coastal squeeze” (Twilley, 2007).
  • As human development and climate change progress coastal resources and infrastructure become more vulnerable.


    • CaRA and UPRM have jointly established the Alliance for Numerical Modeling and Coastal Forecast. The PRCMP of DNER contracted the Alliance to perform Coastal Zone inundation modeling using ADCIRC, SWAN and COULWAVE.
    • Storm surge-inundation modeling and analysis::
    • J.Capella, J.Morell and J. Gonzalez, CaRA-UPRM, A. Mercado-UPRM, B. Blanton-Renaissance Institute, and Ernesto Díaz, DNER Coastal Management Office.

Climate Change Project :

Puerto Rico Coastal Zone

Vulnerability Assessment

and Adaptation Strategies


April 2011

August 2011

June 2012


Geophysical and Chemical Scientific Knowledge: Scenario Building

Israel Matos Dr. Fernando Gilbes-Santaella

Dr. Martiza Barreto Dr. Julio Morell

Dr. Jorge Capella Plan.Lyzaida Rodriguez

Dr. Miguel Canals Juan González

Dr. Jorge Corredor Prof. Aurelio Mercado

Melissa Melendez

Dr. Rafael Mendez Tejeda

ecology and biodiversity

Dr. Jorge Ortiz Zayas

Plan. Evelio Valeiras

Dr. Ernesto Weil

Dr. Richard Appeldoorn

Plan. Wanda Crespo

Dr. Miguel García

Susan Silander

Dr. Elvira Cuevas

Dr. NildaJiménez


Dr. William Gould

Dr.Ariel Lugo

Dr.Clark Sherman

Dr.Vance Vicente


Carlos Diez

Carmen González

Marelisa Rivera


Angel Dieppa

Nina Garfield

Dr. Craig Lilyestrom

Ecology and Biodiversity

society and economy
Society and Economy

Plan. Felix Aponte

Lcdo. Graham Castillo


Plan. Maria Juncos

Damaris Lopez

Rafael Mojica

Dr.EddieLaboy Nieves

Willie Ortiz

Dr. Carlos Padin

Aida Rosario

Arq. José Terrasa

Lcdo.David W. Roman

Deborah Velázquez

Dr. Roy Armstrong

Dr. Joseph Vogel

Graciela GarcíaMoliner

Dr.Luis Santiago

Dr.Walter Diaz

WPI Student Team


Communicating Climate Change and Coastal Hazards

Maria Falcón

Susan Soltero

Astrid Green


Benito Pinto

Tito Quintana

Ernesto Torres

Raimundo Espinoza

Sara Justicia

WPI Student Team


Steering Committee of the “Geophysical and Chemical Scientific Knowledge: Scenario Building” met in January to discuss historic trends and climate projections for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Basin.

  • New CariCOOS storm surge + sea level rise mapping will be completed for the Coastal Adaptation Project (Modeling a 1 meter sea level rise with a category 2 hurricane).
  • Partnering with Dr. Jaime Collazo of North Carolina State University and Dr. Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University will enable us to use statistical downscaling of AOGCMs for the Caribbean Basin, Puerto Rico and the USVI.
  • A qualitative/descriptive vulnerability assessment will be completed for all the agreed upon sectors by May 2011.
  • Stakeholder risk assessment workshops will be conducted in Spring/Summer 2011.

A Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) for Puerto Rico will be developed by the PRCCC with DNER taking the lead in conjunction with Sea Grant Puerto Rico, University of Delaware, ITTF and CaRA.

  • The index will use social, ecological and socio-economic indicators to assess vulnerability of the 44 coastal municipalities.
  • Adaptation strategies will be developed by the PRCCC based on vulnerability levels and multisectoral consultations.
  • Resulting strategies will be submitted to Policy makers with broad scientific, planning, and stakeholders support.