Puerto Rico Chapter Challenges New Four Seasons Resort; Northeastern Ecological Corridor at Risk from Poorly Planned Development
February 8, 2006
Located on the main island of Puerto Rico, the Northeastern Ecological Corridor includes over 3,200 acres of pristine beaches, marshes, swamps, and coastal forests, and is one of the Caribbean's last great places. The corridor provides unique habitat for all types of wildlife, and is home to a rare bioluminescent lagoon known as Laguna Aguas Prietas. However, the treasured status of the area also makes it a prime location for tourism and mega residential-tourist complexes. Currently, there are two construction proposals that would put the corridor at risk, including a San Miguel Four Seasons Resort that would have 1400 housing units and a 27-hole golf course. This proposed resort would destroy the pristine area by filling wetlands, channelizing rivers and clearing coastal vegetation. It would also restrict public access and beach use and deplete the already limited water supplies needed by local communities. In early February, Sierra Club's Puerto Rico Chapter filed a lawsuit to stop this poorly planned resort, arguing that the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources bypassed laws that prohibit endorsing flood control works for private development and that establish preservation of wetlands as a priority.
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See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.