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A rocky stream bed banked by vegetation.
Information icon Lemon creek at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Photo by Alexandra Galindo, USFWS.

Fish and Aquatic Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation (FAC) Initiative in the Caribbean focuses on the conservation, restoration and enhancement of aquatic habitats. The initiative’s projects a benefit focal native species by augmenting the species abundance and available habitat, and maintaining stable populations and habitat suitability. These actions also benefit public health, safety and recreation.

The Caribbean Ecological Services Office includes Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands Since the rivers, creeks, guts and general aquatic habitats in the Caribbean region face multiple threats (e.g. development, unsustainable agricultural practices, stream bank modifications, dams and stream crossing structures), the FAC Initiative works with federal, state, local agencies and NGOs and other partners identifying the aquatic issues and needs and developing strategies to address these.

Program goals

  • Identify aquatic needs in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands and use best approaches to address them by the development of strategic planning
  • Develop and implement conservation actions for high priority species such as the at-risk Sirajo goby and American eel and other native aquatic fauna
  • Restore and enhance aquatic habitats via the removal or modification of physical barriers (e.g. dams), replacement or modification of stream-crossing structures (e.g. culverts, bridges) and construction of fish ladders to protect and maintain stable populations of aquatic species and healthy habitats
  • Restoration and conservation of stream banks
  • Enhance recreational fisheries and educate and engage the public in aquatic resources and our conservation mission
  • Build strong partnerships with state, government and other federal agencies and NGOs to successfully implement aquatic restoration projects in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

More information

Contact

Alexandra M. Galindo, Fish Biologist Fish and Aquatic Conservation, Coastal and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programs alexandra_galindo@fws.gov, 787-851-7297 ext. 223

Ivan Llerandi-Roman, USFWS Habitat Restoration Programs Caribbean Coordinator ivan_llerandi-roman@fws.gov, 787-851-7297 ext. 224

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