The Secretary of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), Rafael Machargo Maldonado, asked the United States Corps of Engineers (Usace) for an additional 30 days for citizen comments on Puerto Rico’s coastal erosion feasibility study .
The request is given because the comment period was from December 10, 2020 to January 6, 2021, a government transition period and just during the holiday season.
“It should be noted that on July 8, 2020, the DNER provided comments to Usace about this study, in which we presented our opposition to the beach lining, since it is not considered an acceptable option in the current circumstances according to Regulation 4860, ”Said the secretary.
He added that “beaches are an important asset for Puerto Rico, and under our local laws, they must receive maximum protection, especially when there are other alternatives available to achieve a specific purpose.”
The DRNA submitted its comments to the Usace in the established time, but considering that the general public may not have had enough time to submit their comments due to the holidays, the additional time was requested.
“Sea level rise is a major concern for coastal communities and critical infrastructure on our island that is located along or near the coast. Storm events have increased in intensity and frequency in recent years and this trend is expected to continue, so the study carried out by Usace is transcendental for the future of our coasts. However, we have to be very meticulous in the alternatives that are presented to neutralize this situation, ”Machargo pointed out.