Update: Dredging of Coral Reef for Coast Guard base in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Bruce at Island Resources bpotter at irf.org
Tue Feb 20 09:08:25 EST 2001

Michael and friends ---

Just as a guess, the task of "fully documenting the baseline 
condition of the reef system" and the allied seagrass beds and 
mangroves is a major enterprise in a VERY EXPENSIVE part of the 
world. Start to finish, with proper archiving of the results in 
multiple sites where it would be accessible to future investigators, 
I'd guess something in excess of $50,000. (It's one of the things 
Island Resources does, so that's not a WAG.)

Follow-up surveys to report impacts and recovery courses would be a 
minimum of $30,000, each---you'd probably want three over five- to 

Especially in light of the indifference or active opposition of the 
Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (In our experience, the 
most frequent sources of such funds are local government, bi-lateral 
and mulilateral governmental organizations---ever try to get funds 
when the host government opposes you?), I doubt there are numerous 
sources of funds for such a "complete documentation." For example, 
you should have seen the swarms of help provided to counter the silly 
proposal to convert Sombrero Island to a rocket launch pad. (THAT 
included a "full documentation" of a tiny terrestrial system, the 
bulk of which costs were borne by the Royal Society of the Protection 
of Birds and the various individual investigators who worked on the 
project---and boy did THEY ever get a big vote of thanks from the 
Government of Anguilla?)

Given the circumstances, do you suppose the Secretary of the [US] 
Navy would be happy to fund a good, objective, third-party impacts of 
their project?

best wishes in a dispeptic sort of way

bruce potter

PS.   Here's a repeat of the announcement of the URL for the US 
National Park Service Coral Reef Monitoring Manual:

At 11:35 AM -0500 1/29/01, Potter at Island Resources wrote:
>Great news ---
>Mentioned before that the US National Park Service Reef Monitoring
>Manual has information on techniques for monitoring for reef damage,
>for example from anchoring episodes such as the Virginian and Blue
>Leopard episode in Barbardos....
>The US National Park Service Coral Reef Monitoring Manual is now
>available on-lline in a PDF version, thanks to a special effort by
>Don Catanzaro and Caroline Rogers at the Virgin Islands National
>Park, and Buck Albert, webmaster for the Florida-Caribbean Service
>Thanks to all for making a valuable resource more accessible
>There are several ways to get to it through the Florida-Caribbean
>Service Center of USGS ---
>The main page is at http://www.fcsc.usgs.gov/
>and the Virgin Islands National Park Page at
>has a direct link to the document toward the bottom of the page.
>It can also be accessed through the following additional site pages:
>>Coral Reef Ecology
>>Site Map
>>Fact Sheets
>Also, depending on your browser, you might be able go to  . . .
>and have the PDF document download directly --
>note that the document is 2.8 megabytes in length, so will take a
>while to download --- 20+ minutes at 28K baud connection speed.
>And thanks to a grant from the National Parks Foundation arranged by
>the VI National Park, Island Resources Foundation is in the process
>of translating the manual so that by the end of the summer, it should
>be available in Spanish.
>best wishes
>bruce potter
At 9:37 AM +0900 2/20/01, Noah, Michael D POJ wrote:
>On a similar note, has there been any attempt to fully document the 
>baseline condition of the reef system prior to impact (including 
>photos), and then a plan developed to follow up with other 
>assessments during and after the project has commenced in order to 
>fully document the impacts?  Facts often speak louder than 
>perception.  It may mean the loss of this particular reef system, 
>but it'll be another round or two of ammunition to help protect the 
>next one.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: dallison [mailto:dallison at email.msn.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2001 6:37 AM
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; caribwa at egroups.com; Kurt Cordice
>Subject: RE: Update: Dredging of Coral Reef for Coast Guard base in 
>St. Vincent and the Grenadines
>Perhaps it would be of some value for folks who, like me and some of 
>my friends, visit and vacation in the Caribbean a couple of times 
>each year to send a note to the minister to let him know that we 
>will not be including SVG in our vacation plans if they persist in 
>their efforts to dredge the coral reefs in the area.  I would be 
>happy to deliver such a note if I had the address and or email or 
>fax numbers and the name of the Prime Minister and Senior Minister.
>Dave Allison
>Allison Associates
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
>[mailto:owner-coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov]On Behalf Of Kurt 
>Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2001 1:54 AM
>To: caribwa at egroups.com; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Subject: Update: Dredging of Coral Reef for Coast Guard base in St. 
>Vincent and the Grenadines
>Hello Again Everyone,
>A further update for those who are interested in this issue here in 
>St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
>In short, it seems that the pier is going to be built. There has 
>been no answer to the letter I wrote to the Prime Minister and 
>Senior Minister. There also has been no answer to an official 
>request for an appeal hearing of the Planning Board decision 
>regarding the project.
>The Senior Minister (who recently resigned as our Prime Minister 
>after 15+ years in office) did speak of the topic in an address made 
>to the people of Union Island, which is the site of the Base. He 
>made reference to project(s) in the past that had been opposed for 
>environmental reasons, and how that opposition had failed. He also 
>made it clear that the pier would be build no matter what, and that 
>no environmentalist would stop the project.
>It was a heavy blow to the marine protection movement here, and I 
>wrote another letter to the Senior Minister regarding this fact. 
>Once again, no response.
>The dredging has not started yet, and the necessary equipment has 
>not arrived. No one seems to know when it will be done. But the 
>deadline for the military personnel her is sometime in the first 
>week of April, so it will probably be soon.
>I'm not quite sure what else can be done regarding the issue. It is 
>now clear that the Government is not willing to consider evidence or 
>appeal which questions the decision to dredge in the area. The funds 
>just are not available to consider using a legal process.
>Please do not take this as an admission of failure. The dredging has 
>not started yet, so there is a chance. And regardless of the 
>dredging, a positive thing has happened in this country. The issue 
>is now in the hands of the people, and has found some murmuring of 
>support. I don't think this marks the end of the battle, but the 
>beginning. The next step will be to look for some support in a 
>campaign towards the establish of a Trust organization here in SVG, 
>one which might be able to prevent a situation like this from 
>happening again.
>I'd like to thank all of you for listening, and especially thank 
>those who have discussed and/or taken action regarding this 
>situation. I've heard about some, like an inquiry made by the Coral 
>Reef Task Force, and I'm sure that there has been much that I am not 
>aware of.  The attention from all of you have made a huge 
>difference, both locally and beyond. The emails of support have also 
>made a big difference, and helped keep a positive tone in all of 
>Best wishes to you all
>Kurt Cordice, Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Island Resources Foundation
29 Years of Environmental Planning for Development

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