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Health and Environmental Effects Research

Region 2 Caribbean Office and NHEERL Collaborate on Coral Reef Protection

Evelyn Huertas, an environmental scientist with the EPA Region 2 Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, has been detailed under the Regional Research Partnership Program to work with scientists at NHEERL’s Gulf Ecology Division (GED) and Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) on protection of coral reefs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Specifically, Ms. Huertas will collaborate on research to develop coral reef biological criteria, models to characterize watershed land use implications for sediment and nutrient pollution, and an economic survey of tourism and recreation associated with Puerto Rico coral reefs. These projects are parts of ORD’s Safe and Sustainable Water Program and Sustainable and Healthy Communities Program. The collaboration also supports a new Coral Reef Protection Plan developed by Region 2 at the request of Regional Administrator Judy Enck and a watershed initiative of the interagency Coral Reef Task Force. During her detail, Ms. Huertas will be working with Bill Fisher and Susan Yee of GED and Patricia Bradley of AED.

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