Sunday, January 29, 2012

MASIS Recycling Program Begins

This past Saturday, January 28th, 2012, around 45 students, teachers, parents, and community volunteers joined the SF Rincon chapter to commence their school-wide recycling program by painting 16 (14-gallon) blue recycling bins, 7 (95-gallon) recycling bins, 4 (30 gallon) recycling bins, and a wooden corral.  These bins were purchased by the chapter from AMEC PR with funding from a grant provided by NOAA.  The municipality of Añasco is cooperating with the chapter and the school to service the bins weekly and the chapter will be charting how much plastic and aluminum the school is recycling throughout the semester.  Surf industry companies such as Roxy, FCS, Gorilla, Creatures of Leisure, Nixon, and Rip Curl have donated products to the program to provide to students throughout the semester.  In fact, students will be competing against homerooms to see how much each class can recycle throughout the semester and the winning class will receive cool prizes from those aforementioned companies and a pizza party provided by the chapter.  This is all great fun for an amazing cause. 

Jorge Seda Crespo was the other school selected in the area to participate in this program and this Saturday, February 4th, 2012, we will be holding their opening event at their school.  In the future, the chapter hopes to work with more schools along the west coast from Isabela to Parguera to strengthen the recycling efforts on the west coast.  If anyone is interested in volunteering for Saturday's event please email Wess at 

Contact Wessley Merten at 787-436-8300 or for more information on helping out in this coral reef restoration and marine debris removal and prevention effort.

Day 3: Surveying and Removing Debris in RMTP

Last Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, Captain Pauco Font and I took some more volunteers out on his vessel, "Mi Familia," to survey and remove tires from reef habitat in Rincon. In the morning we had 4 volunteers and in the afternoon we had 2. The morning crew was James Sethward, Ky Plamondon, Brian Hawes, and Ariana Piñero; the afternoon crew consisted of Rina Hauptfeld and Terry Norman. We removed a total of 10 tires, a metal rod, plastic, and clothing off of the reef.

The figure above depicts all the debris that was discovered on Wednesday's outing.  We only removed 10 tires of the 25 we found.  We also found some fiberglass boat debris, an old anchor, cable, and chain.  This will all be removed in future outings.

The figure above represents our boat survey tracks this past Wednesday (1.25.12). 

Contact Wessley Merten at 787-436-8300 or for more information on helping out in this coral reef restoration and marine debris removal effort.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 2 Rincon; Surveying and Removing Debris in the RMTP

January 11th 2012 - Marine Debris Removal Resumes in RMTP

        The morning crew.  Pictured L to R (James Sethward (PR), Adrian Massie (RI), Brendan Crawford (RI), Ky Plamondon (RI)).  This crew helped locate and remove 4 tires, a car battery, some cable and plastic debris.  Thanks fellas!

The afternoon crew.  Pictured L to R (Adam Steinman (ME), Theo Steinman (ME), and Jessa Steinman (ME)).  This crew helped us remove 4 tires previously located by the am crew.  Adam and I also scuba dove along a reef break and collected copious amounts of plastic debris.  Thanks for the hard work crew!

The diagram above depicts the location and type of debris the volunteers found and removed on 1.11.12.  The size of the symbols is not to scale.

The white dots in the diagram above depict the boat survey track that volunteers took aboard Captain Pauco Font's vessel while tow-boarding to locate the debris. 

Adrian Massie points out a tire debris field as he tow-boards in Reserva Marina Tres Palmas on 1.11.12

Adam Steinman, pictured here, places another piece of plastic debris in his bag as we dove along the reef in RMTP on 1.11.12

Outing Summary

Today was a great day on the water in the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve.  We had a total of 8 volunteers participate in the day's activities.  The morning crew was Adrian Massie, Brendan Crawford, Ky Plamondon, and James Sethward, with the pm crew being Adam Steinman, Theo Steinman, Jessa Steinman, and Terry Norman.  Between both crews, we managed to remove 8 tires, a car battery, clothing, a bag full of plastic debris, and mark more debris to be removed in our next outing.  The weather conditions were pleasant making for an enjoyable day on the water.  The near-shore visibility was good (~50') and made tow-boarding a lot of fun and effective in locating debris.   

Contact Wessley Merten at 787-436-8300 or for more information on helping out in this coral reef restoration and marine debris removal effort.