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The saga of 'Quebrada Mata de Platano' continues

NEW LIFE... but for how long?  Keep your hands off!

May 3, 2005  With the recent rains this body of water comes to life once again and shines with a renewed sense of survival and new life.  This body of water that runs around the back of building Playa Azul III has been the target of some special interests groups and some very much misinformed individuals.

It is important to recognize that this body of water has been here and has run its present course discharging into the Costa Azul beach waters long before all of us NEW residents decided to move here to occupy all the developments that have taken place in the Luquillo area for the last 100 years including the Playa Azul Condominium complex, the Brisas development and pretty much most of the Luquillo Town that we see today.  I have heard complaints from some misinformed individuals about the STINKY waters of this 'Quebrada'.

I wonder if these special interests individuals realize that, notwithstanding its present condition, this Quebrada has always found the way to renew and clean itself naturally.  I wonder if they realize the enormous environmental good that this Quebrada provides for the many different forms of wildlife that flourish in the so called STINKY waters.  I have seen TURTLES, PELICANS, IGUANAS, EGRETS, CRABS and of course FISH and a wide variety of other birds nesting and cohabitating in the STINKY waters of this Quebrada.  The waters that to some misinformed individuals and special interests groups might look and seem stagnant are waters in their natural state of flow.  A natural slow flow down into the Costa Azul bay where it does naturally discharge whenever the tide and rain conditions allow it.

Just, yesterday I was treated to an amazing display of NEW LIFE in this much criticized and trampled natural habitat.  It was as if I was watching a National Geographic documentary.  I was treated to dancing fish spawning and frolicking and jumping that created the ruffles on the water that alerted me to the spectacle.  The fish I saw looked like 12 to 14 inches Tilapias that when they turn their underside to the sun they shine like silver fish and produce that quick flash of shine that is unmistakable.

To all of those special interests individuals I say KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF QUEBRADA MATA DE PLATANO.  It does not need you to destroy its natural condition.  A few months ago you had the audacity of cutting and trampling the tall grass with a backhoe machine with the excuse of cleaning it up.  In the process you opened it up to vandalism and destroyed the sandy Iguana nesting areas and killed many of the Iguanas.

I challenge you to instead of destroying this natural habitat to help preserve it and maintain it clean.  Your help is very much needed to stop the illegal dumping and discharge into this creek.  We know that upstream and very close to the overpass that crosses Road 193 near the gas station there are what seems to be inappropriate and probably illegal discharge pipes that are the cause of some of the bad smell and decaying condition of the creek.  This problem is created by HUMANS not by the wildlife and flora of the creek.  Do not destroy the creek, instead, I challenge you to go after the HUMANS that are the problem.

Sincerely and in defense of our natural resources and wildlife



The destruction of the iguana habitat

The defenseless iguanas were running for their lives

This past week I witnessed how some humans with a bulldozer performed once again the ancient rituals of destroying and invading what does not belong to them.

The creek behind building Playa Azul 3 is known as 'Quebrada Mata de Platano'.  This body of water belongs to the people of Puerto Rico and not to anyone or any organization in particular.  There should have been an environmental impact study done before anyone is allowed to trample on this beautiful iguana sanctuary and make any changes to the green natural vegetation of this creek.  This was until recently a secluded area with almost no human access that was a perfect sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife.  I have been following how the green iguana and other kinds of wildlife have flourished in this creek since 'Huracan Hugo' displaced them from the mountains in 1980.  I have seen beautiful specimens of male and female iguanas survive and breed for many years.

The tall grass that grows on the sandy soil found on the west side of the creek is precisely what makes this the perfect sanctuary for iguana breeding.  The iguanas hide in the tall grass to lay their eggs in the sandy soil away from predators.  The tall grass protects their nests.  The trees and vegetation on the other side of the creek provides them with food, shelter, and the tall branches are where they bask in the sun.  The iguanas are cold blooded and need to spend most of their time in the trees taking the sun.  The water in the creek is their swimming pond.  I have seen how they freely swim in this creek to get from one side to the other.

I know that the trampling of the sandy soil and the razing of the tall grass by the bulldozer was devastating to this natural habitat.  I know that most of the young and older iguanas survived this first attack because I saw them running for their lives as the bulldozer mercifully ran through their habitat.  I know that a lot of nests were destroyed but hope that the iguana is strong enough to survive this and the next attack.

Id like to remind everyone that we must be conscious about our actions so that the end results of our efforts are positive instead of negative.  Please keep in mind that although we might mean well sometimes our actions might be counterproductive.  The seclusion provided by the tall grass for the wildlife living here has been compromised until new tall grass takes root and grows again.  In the meantime and because of the easy access provided by the razing of the tall grass we can expect vandals to walk into this area and kill the iguanas with stones.  I hope this does not happen. 


Here are photos of the creek 'quebrada mata de platanos'