Analyzing Changes in Puerto Rican Mangroves and Local Conditions to Identify Restoration Opportunities

First name: 
Last name: 
Colón Adorno
Class Year: 
Mark Ashton
Essay Abstract: 
Mangrove forests are extremely valuable to Puerto Rico (PR) and its residents. However, mangroves are one of the most endangered ecosystem types of PR and account for less than 1% of the island’s area. Mangroves are generally quite resilient and re-establish themselves once proper ecological conditions are restored. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the areas on the island that have the potential to meet the ecological requirements of mangrove development and target them for restoration. The primary objective of this study is to recommend specific interventions for target areas of mangroves in PR. I use ten field locations as examples of where mangroves are likely to thrive and how restoration measures can be implemented. Based on the disturbed state of the majority of mangrove swamps observed in this study, mangrove conservation in PR would benefit from more active and deliberate monitoring and management. This report is valuable because of the focused and novel surveys conducted that can inform cost-effective interventions that have a high probability of success at increasing the area and health of mangrove forests in PR.