ICYMI: They Invest in the Land to Build the Future
From the New York Times: "Maricruz Rivera Clemente’s community was among those hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017."
"She and her neighbors in Piñones, a neighborhood in Loíza on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, about 15 miles east of San Juan, were without power for months."
"And after seeing ecological damage she likened to an atomic bomb, Ms. Rivera Clemente, a social worker and sociologist, made a plan for her community organization to try to keep her neighbors safe in the future."
"The organization, Corporación Piñones Se Integra, wanted to do more to preserve the area’s natural resources and Afro-Latino heritage. And its mission includes taking care of the Piñones State Forest. The mangroves that populate the forest, Ms. Rivera Clemente said through an interpreter, help protect the land from wind damage and reduce erosion caused by storm surges."
"Hoping to restore the mangroves, the group reached out to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico, and in 2020 the Hispanic Federation, a beneficiary of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, provided a grant to move the work ahead. The $100,000 grant allowed local residents to be hired for a mangrove reforesting initiative and cleanup efforts to improve water flow."