The Jobos Bay reserve has been deeply impacted by Hurricane Maria.
Reserve staff have not all been accounted for. We do know that Aitza, the manager, and Angel, the research coordinator are safe and unharmed, as are the 20 people who used the reserve as a refuge during the storm. Everyone is sharing food, and there is enough clean water. Aitza says she feels blessed that her neighbors have been so supportive and that the hurricane “has brought out the angels amongst us.”
Conditions are heart-breaking. Communications are down and basic necessities are unavailable. Gas lines are extremely long and roads are difficult to traverse, if not impassable. It’s hot and Maria blew the leaves off many shade trees. Inundation seems to have extended far inland and left marine organisms way up on the wetland behind the visitor center.
Infrastructure assessment is not complete, but damage was significant. The visitor center roof is gone and there is much water damage, though equipment and computers are safe as they were covered in plastic and placed in a more secure location. The solar array appears intact. Docks are gone, trails are gone, and devastation is everywhere.
We will continue to do our best to keep you updated; please continue to send your love to Puerto Rico. Also, NERRA is continuing to collect contributions to support Jobos Bay and other reserves impacted by hurricanes this season. You can give today. #MyReserveOurCoasts
—With thanks to our friends at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Erica Seiden and Nina Garfield, for keeping us updated.