Wetland Page of the Tuna Point Lighthouse, Faro De Punta Tuna, Maunabo, Puerto Rico
TUNA POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Working to attain and reconstruct the Tuna Point Light House
"Faro De Punta Tuna"& protect the US coastline
Current weather at the Lighthouse
This site is dedicated to the lighthouse restoration and lighthouse preservation of the Punta Tuna lighthouse. This USCG Lighthouse is considered part of the National Park Service, as it is one of the Puerto Rico National Historic Lighthouses. It is known but many names including, Tuna Point lighthouse, Point Tuna lighthouse, Faro de Punta Tuna, and Maunabo lighthouse. The Point Tuna Lighthouse is located in Maunabo, Puerto Rico and this site contains, lighthouse pictures, lighthouse photos, lighthouse blueprints, lighthouse facts, lighthouse images from space, weather at the lighthouse, Maunabo weather and weather for all of Puerto Rico. There is also detailed information, on the Maunabo Wetland area, and plans for the coastal security of the United States.
Click on the globe below to fly to the lighthouse on Google Earth
The Punta Tuna mangrove swamp is an estuarine wetland system located in Maunabo (a coastal town in Southeastern Puerto Rico); the wetland area is estimated in 40.5 hectares (100 acres). It consists of an impressing Pond Apple (Annona glabra) swamp, surrounding a small Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) stand; other wetland types are present there. The nearby beachfront is an important nesting area for the endangered Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles.
Point Tuna Wetland Area
The Tuna Point Wetland is located in the southeastern extreme area of the municipality of Maunabo that at the same time is located in the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico. This beautiful natural area is located next to the Tuna Point Lighthouse and is south of highway PR-7760. Consists mainly of a coastal plain of low topographical relief. Has a surface of near 100 acres. The land where the wetland is located are private property.
Ecosystems in Tuna Point
The Tuna Point Wetland
In the Tuna Point Wetland we find various ecosystems of great value. We find three types of wetlands: saltwater swamp represented by a basin mangrove swamp area, freshwater swamp represented by a swamp of Cayur and freshwater marsh. Also it possesses a sand beach of great scenic beauty.
The Sand Beach
The sand beach known by the name of Long Beach is the beach Associated with the wetland. It covers a lineal distance of approximately 2 kilometers. This beach is wider in its south extreme that in its north extreme. The south extreme finishes in a rocky promontory where it is ended by the Tuna Point Lighthouse.
Its sand is of golden color, composed fine grains of quartz, magnetite and feldspars, it also contains remainders of animals and marine plants that stem from the Seargent reef that is to the south side of the beach. This is a beach of high energy or strong surf. This is one of the most important beaches in the southeastern region of Puerto Rico for the nesting of tortoises, particularly the Leatherback. In this area two species of marine tortoises: The Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) nest. This area extends 1,500 meters without residential or tourist developments of type, dominated alone by the coastal forest in which they abound the coconut palm, Coconuts nucifera and the beach grape, Coccoloba uvifera. Additionally a limited use on the part of bathers, due to the high energy of their water, or people that will be walking or sunning themselves, as they become a danger in area for the eggs of these Species. Besides the coastal forest serving as a barrier for any type of artificial lighting that could confuse the newborns when they emerge from their nests. In the subsequent part of the beach we find a zone formed by a sand dune covered with vegetation that forms a coastal forest. In there we find coconut palm, grape t-shirt, icacos, maría, mocha, pool, capá red, péndula, úcar, almond trees, yagrumo female, noni, maraimaray, patches, oak tree, beach bush and many other plants.
The Mangrove Swamp
This is a basin type mangrove swamp in which there are found represented the 4 species of trees typical of mangrove in Puerto Rico: red mangrove, white mangrove, black mangrove and mangrove button. Has an approximate extension of 16 acres.
This area develops the estuary zone of the coastal plain. In this area there is a small estuary that remains flooded practically all year due to the fact that this area is below sea level. This permits diffusion of sea water under the sand dune toward the small zone. Besides the mangrove trees we find mangrove ferns, Acrostichum aureum and A. Danaefolium and emajagua trees. The area of mangrove swamp serves to shelter many birds among them a colony of the extremely numerous cattle heron.
The Cayur swamp (Annona glabrous) is one of the particularities that is special to the Tuna Point Wetland. This tree (Pond Apple) is of the family of the guanábanas and is forced growth in the wetland. It produces a fruit of extremely pleasant smell. Its wood has similar characteristics to cork. This species is found in coastal freshwater or lightly brackish swamps.
This type of swamp is extremely rare in Puerto Rico due to the wetlands backfill practices. Its level of growth in this location has become one of the better examples of their class on the entire coast of the Island of Puerto Rico. Other plants as turtle grass, mallow, acacia, maría, pool, mocha, icaco, marsh grass, fern, patches, anamú and other creepers growing near the cayur swamp.
We find two wetland herbs areas or herbaceous wetlands, one nearby to the Lighthouse and another at the extreme opposite end of the wetland. The areas of marshes are located one nearby to the Cayur swamp and another nearby to the mangrove swamp. These areas were utilized for grazing of cattle until some years ago. With the abandonment of the use of the area as grazing area, some Cayur trees have begun to colonize the area. This would indicate that the Cayur swamp will continue to be expanded.
This wetland represents a natural habitat for the wildlife. More than 50 species of birds find refuge in this place. In the cliff of the Lighthouse we find a colony of Pelicans. Some of the birds that we find in the area are: the real heron, white heron, cattle heron, common Yaboa, heron, coot, woodpecker (endemic), zumbador crested, zumbador golden, zumbador green (endemic), zumbador of PR (endemic) pitirre, julián chiví, common falcón, smaller penguin, swallows, Moorish queen (endemic), calendar, pizpita of mangrove, lovebirds and many others.
Is also an important place for the common juey. A great quantity of insects, butterflies and spiders can also be observed. We also can find amphibious and reptilian as the common iguana, lagartijos, salamanquesas, 3 species of coquíes, coquí common, coquí pitito and coquí churí, the white lip ranita and the common toad or crude toad. The Department of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources already finalized the process of biological inventory of the area.
Without a doubt the Tuna Point Wetland is a spectacular place of scenic beauty and power of tremendous value.
The 1890 Tuna Point Lighthouse combines scenic value to this natural area. The Wetland and Lighthouse together represent an excellent place to admire and to enjoy the beauties of nature. Also it represents a living laboratory where students and teachers can carry out diversity of educational activities and investigation.