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03 • 03 • 2022

Salva Tres Palmas: The Fight to Protect Puerto Rico’s Coral Reefs and Surf Breaks

By Pete Stauffer

Surfrider’s Rincón Chapter is fighting to protect the iconic Reserva Marina Tres Palmas from harmful development. Please support the campaign by signing the petition.

Nearly twenty years ago, the Rincón Chapter of Surfrider Foundation helped lead a successful community effort to create the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas. Signed into law by the governor in 2004, the marine reserve protects the world famous Tres Palmas surfing break, along with endangered coral species. The reserve also serves as a model for community-based ocean management on Puerto Rico and beyond. To this day, the marine reserve continues to enjoy broad support in Rincón and throughout the island.

Regrettably, the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas is now threatened by an onslaught of rampant and excessive development. Construction activities on the coast and hillsides of Rincón and other parts of Puerto Rico are generating excessive runoff of sediments that is polluting nearshore waters and violating the Clean Water Act. This pollution is damaging the sensitive marine and coastal ecosystem, including threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals, and threatens a world class surfing break. 

The Surfrider Foundation Rincón Chapter and other local environmental groups are calling upon the responsible government agencies to enforce all applicable environmental and local planning laws to protect this unique and special place. Such government leadership is essential to protecting the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve and other sensitive marine habitats off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Please sign the petition to demand that the state and federal regulatory agencies (EPA, NOAA, NFWS, DNER, OPGe) take decisive action to ensure that the developers of the Sueño de Aurora Project, Bellagio LLC and and all other developers operating in the watershed comply with all applicable environmental and planning laws, and their permit requirements.

Learn more about the campaign 

Salva Tres Palmas Campaign Page

Watch the Video

Sign the Petition