Volunteers descended on Puerto Rico’s San Juan Estuary to collect garbage that plagues the wetlands and mangrove forest, according to a Reuters report.
Around 300 volunteers gathered thousands of pounds of trash during the coordinated cleanup event. Some brought fishing boats or kayaks. Others tromped through the mud.
A combination of factors pushed the estuary into ill health. Sewer drainage and runoff into the area fueled a harmful algal bloom. The algae grow over trash dumped in the estuary from travelers on nearby roads.
Low water levels also threaten the vitality of the wetlands.
One proposed solution to restore the health of the wetland is a dredging project estimated to cost $600 million. Regulatory officials are working to gain public support and federal financing to start the project.