Puerto Rico Air National Guard visits the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Claudia Villasenor
  • 156th Airlift Wing
Members of the 156th Airlift Wing, Muñiz Air National Guard Base, and the 140th Air Defense Squadron, Punta Salinas Radar Site, visit the Manatee Conservation Center at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon campus, with family and friends to learn about the Manatee Rehabilitation Program of the Caribbean Stranding Network, March 19.

As a means to collaborate with the environmental conservation effort to recover the endangered Antillean manatee species, the 156th AW Environmental Engineer, Marcelle Fábregas, coordinated an educational tour of the conservation center to educate PRANG airmen on the manatee program. The tour coincides with meeting the two rehabilitated manatees, Yuisa and Aramaná, which are expected to be released within the safe, seagrass beach surrounding the 140th ADS, known as "La Playita" by summer 2016.

"We are working with the conversation center towards taking recovery actions that will benefit the endangered Antillean manatee species by providing a location at the 140th for the rehabilitation effort," Fábregas said.

The Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center is dedicated to restoring the endangered manatee population in the Caribbean. The center was created to conduct investigations, rescues, rehabilitation, and community awareness of the endangered manatee species in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  The volunteer staff provides care to rescued or orphaned manatees until they are healthy enough to be released back into their natural habitat.

"The Puerto Rico Air National Guard promotes the conservation of our natural resources and environment," said Col. Edward L. Vaughan, commander of the 156th AW. "Our environment is an integral part of our business and we are committed to actively participate in the conservation efforts that protect Puerto Rico and its wildlife."