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Mayagüez Watershed Initiative Mayagüez Watershed Initiative

Photo Courtesy of UPRMArea Description:  The Mayagüez Comprehensive Watershed Plan is a Regional Geographic Initiative under development at the Mayagüez Bay Watershed.   This coastal watershed is located on the western side of the Island of Puerto Rico.   This Initiative has been primarily focused on the development of a conservation and management plan for the Río Grande de Añasco watershed.  The Río Grande de Añasco is one of the three main tributaries of Mayagüez Bay. The drainage area of the Río Grande de Añasco watershed extends over eight Municipalities (Mayagüez, Añasco, San Sebastián, Las Marías, Lares, Maricao, Adjunta and Yauco) and contains thirteen additional rivers (Guilarte, Limaní, Guayo, Prieto, Toro, Blanco, Cañas, Lajas, Guabo, Bucarabones, Mayaguecilla, Arenas and Casei) and four lakes (Lake Guayo, Lake Yahuecas, Lake Prieto and Lake Toro).  These rivers converge into Río Grande de Añasco which drains into the Mayagüez Bay.


How is EPA Involved?

Heavy Sediments are evident in the Rio Grande de AnascoEPA has assumed an active role in the initiative, providing seed funds as well as technical assistance to local agencies and organizations.

What are the Major Issues Facing the Watershed?

The volume of sediment entering the bay from upland portions of the watershed is a major environmental concern. These sediments impact fisheries and coral reefs in the area. Preliminary evidence suggests nonpoint runoff is the major sediment source. Both coffee growing and sand and gravel mining operations within the watershed produce large quantities of sediment as a result of erosion and runoff. Previous studies have identified the need to establish close coordination with state and federal agencies to develop a strategic plan to reduce sediment and nutrient loads, as well as other pollution sources.

Who are the Stakeholders?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Servic Exit EPA disclaimer | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Exit EPA disclaimer | Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board Exit EPA disclaimer | Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources | Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority | local industry, academia, and community

Additional Information can be found on the  Comprehensive Plan for the Integrated Management of The Mayagüez Bay WatershedExit EPA disclaimer Web site

Contact: faber.theresa@epa.gov


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