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
> 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
> Telephone: (212) 853-5921
> e-mail : nd71 at columbia.edu
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