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Study Describes Social-ecological System of La Parguera, Puerto Rico

A new study describes the social-ecological system of La Parguera, Puerto Rico, and identifies the different pressures that have changed this system over the last 40 years. According to the report, multiple pressures have changed this ecosystem, including: sedimentation, nutrient enrichment, elevated seawater temperatures, and overfishing. La Parguera is a small fishing village on the southwest coast of the island, best known for the night time bioluminescence of marine algae in its “Phosphorescent Bay.”

 Red mangrove habitat in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Red mangrove habitat in La Parguera. Credit: University of Puerto Rico.

The new report contains maps representing the geographical distribution of habitats, human governance, and the human footprint of roads, settlements, and urban development. The assessment incorporates the views of various local stakeholder groups and provides an informational baseline and framework to restore the La Parguera ecosystem.

NCCOS, the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, the University of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and the Puerto Sea Grant Program contributed to this study.

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