PROTECT Trainees Participate in Water Quality Monitoring Day

PROTECT Trainees and EPA-GRO Team Members

PROTECT Trainees and EPA-GRO Team Members

On April 9th, 2016, the EPA–GRO Team, with the support of PROTECT, the Institute of Civil Engineers Student Chapter at UPRM, and the Engineering Honor Society Tau Beta Pi-Puerto Rico Alpha Chapter, organized and conducted water quality education activities for the Puerto Rico Water Quality Monitoring Day at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. This activity was established island wide by the San Juan Bay Estuary Program.

The event was held on the premises of the Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering Departments at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Gold Creek, which flows through the area, was the center of the activity. Participants could see demonstrations of laboratory instruments and procedures regularly used for water quality monitoring. They were also able to make measurements. More than 40 volunteers of all ages from different parts of the island and with diverse educational backgrounds participated in the activities, including PROTECT Trainees, family members and campus staff. The event intended to: (1) monitor water quality of a local water body of Puerto Rico, (2) educate about the importance of good water quality and (3) provide practical experience for volunteers.

PROTECT Trainee Nerida De Jesus (front) leading data collection at Gold Creek

PROTECT Trainee Nerida De Jesus (front) leading data collection at Gold Creek

Water Quality Monitoring Day is an educational activity of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program that began 8 years ago in an effort to create awareness of the local water bodies’ conditions. The event presents an opportunity to engage local citizens in environmental activism and science. It aims at raising awareness about the need for conservation of water resources and supports the efforts and mission of the Department of Health, Puerto Rico Water & Environmental Association, the National Estuarine Research Reserve of Jobos Bay, National Reserve Humacao, Tetra Tech, Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico.

The data collected by the different groups of volunteers around the island will be submitted to the database of the World Water Monitoring Challenge, which combines data from monitoring volunteers around the world. EPA-GRO TEAM members Nerida H. De Jesus, Arshley Rey and Angeliz Vangas were responsible for organizing the activity and submitting the data. PROTECT Trainees Vilda Rivera, Eduardo Alvarez, and Nerida H. De Jesus supported several activities by presenting at parameter stations and field expeditions in order to make the day a success. It was a beautiful day and very rewarding. Thank you all who made it possible!