Changes in Puerto Rican mangroves and future management strategies

Adriana Colon
Mark Ashton
Start Date: 
January, 2019

For my senior thesis in the Environmental Studies major, I plan to study the ways in which the coastal mangrove forests of Puerto Rico have changed over the past several decades, especially in response to storms, in order to assess the ways in which Puerto Rico could manage its mangroves to better prepare for future storms and sea level rise.

My project will consist of two stages; the first will include data collection, primarily satellite imagery, to analyze the ways in which Puerto Rico’s mangroves have changed over time and identify any areas of special interest in which the coastal mangrove forests have remained especially healthy. The second stage of my project would involve visiting Puerto Rico to study those areas of interest in person in order to further investigate what conditions have contributed to them being able to remain healthy, relative to other mangrove populations on the island. The findings of this research could then be applied to suggest best management practices for conserving and restoring Puerto Rico’s coastal mangroves to improve future coastal resilience and mangrove recovery in relation to storms and sea level rise.