Puerto Rico

Massachussetts Institute of Technology volunteers set up solar cells on a roof during Hurricane Maria aftermath in Loiza, Puerto Rico, where rescue teams are working to repair basic infrastructure.

Lorenzo Moscia/Archivolatino/Redux

Puerto Rico is a mountainous archipelago rich in culture and biodiversity, with several species of endangered birds, vibrant coral reefs, and America’s only tropical rainforest. But the island has been grappling with an environmental and humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated its already beleaguered water, energy, and health infrastructure. The three million–plus Puerto Ricans who live in the U.S. territory in the heart of the Caribbean are American citizens, but they can’t vote in U.S. congressional elections and have just one non-voting member of Congress.

NRDC is working with local partners in Puerto Rico not only to ensure immediate access to power, clean water, and medical care but also to work toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • With local partners, NRDC is assessing drinking water quality issues and advocating for much-needed investment in water infrastructure.
  • NRDC has partnered with Resilient Power Puerto Rico and Proyecto ENLACE to install a solar power and storage system for a community center in San Juan. We are also advocating for investment in the island’s energy future with a focus on clean energy.
  • To shine a light on the prevalence of waterborne disease and other environmental health issues, NRDC is working to collect and publicize critical health data in the wake of Hurricane Maria.