Articles

Palominito, “What was it?”

Andrea Laó / 14 years / Puerto Rico

Over the past years the small island next to Puerto Rico called Palominito has been vanishing into the water. A study in the year 2000 shows a wonderful plant filled, big island, but a study made in 2015, shows the island thin and dull. In 2017 the hurricane Maria hit the tiny island didn’t help either, since it washed away all flora. There are various theories about this like for example on how global warming is heating up the ice caps and they’re melting, or on how erosion is vanishing the island little by little. According to the newspaper it is partially being deteriorated due to time and age, while marine biologist say that is because of lack of sand. According to an interview of the newspaper Primera Hora a director of the DNRA (Department of Natural and Environmental Resources) Ernesto Diaz explains on how it could have been caused by hurricanes or earthquakes, he also talks about how many of the corals surrounding the island have suffered whitening

This photo represents on how Palominito used to be in the year 2000 way before the hurricane
(Photo taken by Luis Sosua for the newspaper el Nuevo Día) 
While this photo represents Palominito after the hurricane in 2017-18. 
(Photo taken by Instagram user sosua pr.com 

The hurricane and the sand 

“If the hurricane had never hit the island, the process would still happen, and the island would still deteriorate” says geologist Daniel Laó “Palominito could have disappeared out of many things such as the water currents rising or how the ocean floor is breaking” adds in the geologist. Before the hurricane Palominito had approximately five to six years left, but due to the hurricane the process has accelerated at an alarming rate, already swallowing the island whole. We can also state that the sand provided to Palominito has stopped. Palominito gets its sand from mountains and of the ocean floor. The sad truth is that the sand is running out and the ocean floor is deteriorating thanks to the human causes. The sand in the ocean floor is used to do many things such as construction and other things. The sand is hard to replace since the desert sand is too light, and would get blown away with the wind, whereas the sea sand wouldn’t. Now, sand has been disappearing for a while due to the ocean levels rising more than usual therefor causing the erosion and stripping away one of Puerto Rico’s top tourist and movie filming places. 

In conclusion, the tiny island of Palominito will no longer exist. Future generations will not be able to enjoy its beaches and movies like Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides will not be able to be filmed. The island should serve as a reminder of how we are losing our islands and we are not doing anything to prevent it. We should enjoy what we have, even if it’s a tiny island in the sea. 

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