What Do NYC's Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Environment Have in Common?


Photo credit: Oquendo/Creative Commons

This weekend is the huge annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, and right now you may be wondering why we're choosing to write about it on Treehugger.

Every year over three million come out to watch and march in the parade which celebrates Puerto Rican culture. Earlier this year it occurred to our Puerto Rico Sierra Club chapter that the parade would be the perfect way to help spread information about the beautiful and fragile environment in Puerto Rico. It's something everyone should enjoy and work to protect no matter where they live.

So, of course, we were thrilled to hear that the parade's leadership had accepted our suggestion of this year's theme: "Celebrating the Natural Beauty of Puerto Rico." The future of Puerto Rico's beauty rests in our hands. Whether we take action in the States or in Puerto Rico, we have to protect the places we love, so that future generations can enjoy them too. That's why the Sierra Club of Puerto Rico, along with the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, is an official partner of the parade - we're excited to represent and share the Natural Beauty of Puerto Rico throughout the parade and its events.

Last night in New York City the Sierra Club held a great event featuring poetry from some amazing Puerto Rican writers, beautiful photos of the island's treasured areas, and music. On Friday we're also helping out with the Annual Gala Banquet on Friday.

Then on Sunday, you'll see a great crowd of people from the Sierra Club helping lead the parade with a float. Costumed "animals" of Puerto Rico, banners and signs will celebrate Puerto Rico's beauty and the importance of protecting it.

I'm a big fan of Puerto Rico myself, having been there before and written about protecting some of its most threatened areas, such as the Northeast Ecological Corridor.

Here are a few more details on the importance of that particular region:

The Northeast Ecological Corridor is just one of the many places that need our help. Its beaches are essential to the Leatherback Turtle, known as el Tinglar in Spanish, which is not only the world's largest marine turtle, but is also an endangered species....Like many Puerto Ricans, it always returns to the beaches where it was born, so its little ones will be Boricuas too. But without the Corridor in its natural state, the turtles will not have a place to nest.

The Corridor's beaches and waters grow more important to the turtles every year, as changes in climate alter the world's oceans - washing away nesting beaches, shifting currents and raising temperatures which affect the gender of turtle hatchlings.

Will you help protect Puerto Rico's natural beauty? Join us in NYC this week, or take action online to preserve the beauty of the Northeast Ecological Corridor
Read more about the environment and endangered species of Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico's Plan to Turn Endangered Turtle Habitat into a Golf Course
Increasing Number of Leatherback Turtle Nests Not All Good News
Ocean Film Fest 2010: The Battle Over Beaches in Puerto Rico (Video)

Tags: Conservation | New York City | Oceans | Turtles