LIFESTYLE

Puerto Rico has two marine sites chosen for U.S. conservation program

In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 photo, a green Iguana basks in the protected area of Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The Cabezas de San Juan nature reserve has seven distinct coastal ecosystems and one of the few bioluminescent bays in the world. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 photo, a green Iguana basks in the protected area of Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The Cabezas de San Juan nature reserve has seven distinct coastal ecosystems and one of the few bioluminescent bays in the world. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

The U.S. government has selected two sites in Puerto Rico that will receive additional resources and protection as part of a federal conservation program.

A swath along Puerto Rico's northeast coast and the nearby island of Culebra were designated "habitat focus areas" by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said Thursday that both areas have recently seen declines in the number of mangroves, coral and sea grass. He said the program will improve habitat conditions at the sites, both of which are popular with tourists, and help the local government manage recreational activities there.

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