The saga of 'Quebrada Mata de Platano'
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.
I’d 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.
I LOVE IGUANAS
Here are photos of the creek 'quebrada
mata de platanos'