Press Release # 363

Surfrider Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Matt McClain
Surfrider Foundation National Headquarters
Phone (949) 492-8170 / Fax (949) 492-8142
Email: mmcclain@surfrider.org

Annette Blasini
Surfrider Foundation Rincón Chapter
Phone (787) 823-0964

SURFRIDER FOUNDATION CELEBRATES NEW MARINE RESERVE IN PUERTO RICO

 

Three Year Campaign Heralded As A Landmark Grassroots Victory

Rincón, PR (January 14, 2004) ? Puerto Rican Governor Sila M. Calderón Serra has endorsed bill ?P. de la C. 2983? to create ?Reserva Marina Tres Palmas de Rincón? in Puerto Rico. The law, which was championed by House Representatives Carlos Vizcarrondo Irizarry, Ramón Ruiz Nieves and José A ?Tony? Méndez González, will establish a marine reserve in the Tres Palmas area of Rincón and devote $100,000 for the development of a management plan for the marine reserve.

Long renowned for its beautiful beaches, excellent surfing and abundant sea life, Tres Palmas also supports one of the last healthy populations of elkhorn coral in the Caribbean.

?The people see that this extends beyond the scope of just protecting the ocean,? says Ricardo de Soto, founder of Surfrider Foundation?s Puerto Rico Chapter. ?Rincon?s unique character and precious natural resources are the economic engine of our community. Protecting them will work to ensure our future economic, cultural and aesthetic well being.?

Surfrider Foundation?s campaign to establish a marine reserve began three years ago. With assistance from Surfrider Foundation?s National Headquarters, local activists first campaigned to block the development of several beachfront resorts. The success of that effort opened the door for local activists to pursue long term protection for the area.

?The establishment of the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas represents a great monumental step towards our ultimate goal of providing protection to all of Rincón?s coastline? said Surfrider Foundation Rincón activist Annette Blasini.

In a textbook example of grassroots activism, the Surfrider Foundation worked with several other groups, including the Liga Ecológica de Rincón, Liga Ecológica del Noroeste, Environmental Defense, Puerto Rico Sea Grant, GuardAguas and Surfers? Environmental Alliance to form a coalition, La Coalición Pro Calidad de Vida en Rincón, and collected over 7,000 local signatures and over 35,000 international signatures in support of the campaign. The coalition is also working towards terrestrial protection through land conservation and improved local zoning while also continuing to perform educational outreach on topics such as ways to reduce litter and improve water quality.

For more information on the Surfrider Foundation?s efforts in Rincón, Puerto Rico, go to www.surfrider.org/rincon

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of our world?s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 37,000 members and 60 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, with international affiliates in Australia, Europe, Japan and Brazil. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, go to www.surfrider.org.

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Christopher J. Evans, Esq.
Executive Director
P.O.Box 6010
San Clemente, California--USA--92674-6010
(949)492-8170

Join Surfrider Foundation today at www.surfrider.org

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