James M. Cervino
cnidaria at pop.earthlink.net
Sat Aug 25 08:51:56 EDT 2001
CRY OF THE WATER, THE GLOBAL CORAL REEF ALLIANCE, AND
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dan Clark, Cry
of the Water, 954-753-9737
Thursday, August 23, 2001 Jessica
Vallette Revere, PEER, 202-265-7337
ANCIENT REEF THREATENED BY DREDGE PROJECT
Reef Protection Report Released to Document and Save Northernmost Coral Reef
Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Cry of the Water, a coral reef monitoring group
in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has documented unexpectedly high coral cover
and coral reef species diversity off the Broward County shoreline in
an area that is now threatened by a massive dredge and fill project.
Prior surveys of the area have missed or underestimated the size and
extent of large stands of staghorn coral reef and ancient coral
colonies that are found close to shore. Further, early agency
planning documents repeatedly stated that the 3 million cubic yard
dredging project using 7 offshore dredge sites would not
significantly impact the reefs of Ft. Lauderdale.
The best shallow reefs in Ft. Lauderdale are close to the burial
area. Over 25 acres of shallow essential fish habitat, hard bottom
and coral, will be directly buried and many more acres will also be
indirectly affected. These reefs contain more then 1/2 of all the
coral species found in the Caribbean and some coral colonies are
between 500 and 1000 years old.
"Killing or damaging the last remaining good shallow reefs in east
Florida by dredging and filling would by like dynamiting the last
giant redwood stand" said Dr. Tom Goreau president of The Global
Coral Reef Alliance.. "At a time when reefs are showing the effects
of multiple stresses, any activities that would cause any further
damage could irreversibly degrade the reef ecosystem and damage local
These findings are documented in a new report by Cry of the Water and
the Global Coral Reef Alliance titled "Reef Protection in Broward
County, Florida" (see www.cryofthewater.org). Research teams
conducted dives for the past year to map uncharted coral colonies in
and near the impact area of the proposed dredge and fill project to
temporarily widen local beaches. Ft. Lauderdale's remaining coral
reefs can continue to support major diving and fishing industries,
and protect the coast for years to come if not further damaged by
massive dredging projects.
"It is time that we take a common sense approach to marine resource
management in Broward County. To damage or destroy the reefs that
currently protect the shore line will only move us further away from
our goal of sustainable coastal management." said Dan Clark,
President of Cry of the Water.
The report, color photographs of the reef, and a short excerpt from
the accompanying video can be viewed at www.cryofthewater.org.
James M. Cervino
Marine Science Program
University of South Carolina
e-mail:cnidaria at earthlink.net
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