Looking for information

Jordan Dahlgren Eric jordan at mar.icmyl.unam.mx
Mon Feb 19 12:09:33 EST 1996


Unfortunately, as you say the Pier in Paraiso is being built. Most likely   
it will destroy a small part of that reef, but we are not able to prove  
that it will ".. destroy a major part of Paradise Reef". 

Based on the limited available information on the water-dynamics of the  
area, there is reason to suspect that both during stages of the  
construction, and also while operating, damage may be caused in  
downstream reef areas. However, there is no information at present  
to properly asses the extention of the influence area, nor the amount  
of damage to the reef community, that may result from both these puntual  
(in time) and chronic impacts. 

In my opinion, there is too much to risk, but the problem is that this is  
only one opinion, and however educated it may be, is not a certainity. 
In spite of the sadness of seeing that pier being built, notwithstanding  
that some scientists adviced against it, some good has come from  
this. Because of the turmoil that this affair generated, a wider social  
sector in Mexico is now aware that these ecosystems are fragile and  
useful (in terms of anthropogenic activities), at the same time. So, we  
may do better next time. 

On the other hand, as you surely know these are complex social issues,  
and regarding Mexico I will try to have a wide open mind to be able to  
understand the causality of these problems. You see, socially speaking  
Mexico is not very similar to the US. Mexico's struggle to shift from  
almost  total ecological unawareness in marine ecosystems to healthy  
environmental law enforcement is a slow process.  

There are several people that could help you:  

Rita Sheese, at Cozumel (987) 23535, could tell you about the  
environmentalist people point of view. 

Official position is to be obtained from top officials at Mexico City (This  
issue fall under federal government) in the Secretaria del Medio  
Ambiente, such as Julia CArabias or GAbriel Quadri. In the mexican  
consulate at your place you would be able to obtain their phone numbers. 

Scientific information can be provided by the same environmentalists of  
Cozumel (do you read spanish ?). For specific doubts on these matters you  
can call upon me. 

On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, Nicole Dettmann wrote: 

> To all interested parties: 
> 	I am an undergraduate student in Environmental Science at Barnard  
> College of Columbia University. I have a great interest in the preservation of  
> coral reefs and am currently writing my thesis on Mexican environmental  
> law and protection schemes.  I am taking an in depth look and the content  
> and efficacy of environmental law and its affect on  coral reefs in  
> Mexico. 
> 	I am very interested in the recent development project at Paradise  
> Reef on the Caribbean coastal island of Cozumel.  A new cruise ship  
> dock/pier  is being built and threatens to destroy a major part of   
> Paradise Reef. This is an interesting example of how Environmental law in Mexico 
>  is not being enforced.  Any information, contacts or sugesstions pertaining to my  
> thesis (especially the new pier development) would be greatly appreciated. 
> Thank you in advance. 
> Nicole L. Dettmann 
> Box 142 McIntosh 
> 3001 Broadway 
> New York, New York 
> U.S.A. 
> Telephone: (212) 853-5921 
> e-mail : nd71 at columbia.edu 

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