|Morelock, J.; Capella, J.; Garcia, J.; Barreto, M. (2000). Puerto Rico, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. pp. 575-585|
|In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 934 pp., more|
Puerto Rico is part of a volcanic island platform that includes Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico's prevailing weather is tropical. The trade winds blow consistently from east-northeast or east in the winter and from east-southeast in the summer. Stronger wind speeds are recorded during summer and winter than in spring and autumn. The narrow island shelf can be described in terms of north, east, south and west provinces. The north is the narrowest and is marked by higher wave energy and more terrigenous sediments. The east, south and west are carbonate platforms with coral reefs and dominantly carbonate sediments. Each of these provinces has different physical energies. Marine habitats are being diminished by excessive influxes of sediments and nutrients and by overfishing. During the past 50 years, more than 50 percent of the living coral has been lost and the rate of loss of reef areas has accelerated during the past 20 years. The high population density (> 1000 people per square mile) and a shift of population to coastal areas has had a strong effect. Although the problems of loss of habitat are generally recognized, very little has been done to protect the environment. Local resources for protection are meagre, and Federal (United States) efforts are directed to Florida, Hawaii and the Pacific in terms of coral reef preservation.