[Coral-List] Reef Balls, etc.

Robert Bourke rbourke at OCEANIT.COM
Tue Mar 2 12:24:19 EST 2004


A truly "Solomon of the Seas" decision to let the discussion continue.

As a government sponsored site you must walk a fine line with respect to any
appearance of commercial promotions, and this is not an easy task. However
unless this site wishes to merely document the continual degradation of
coral reef resources, there must be a forum for discussion of mitigation and
ecological restoration activities.  

As a list-serve with a responsibility to promote ecological resource
management, restoration MUST be a topic of discussion.  Restoration efforts
are part of just about every resource management scheme I can think of,
including forestry, endangered species recovery, and fisheries.  If we look
back at some of the earliest efforts at restoration in each of these fields
- well, they are rather laughable by today's standards.  If we are to expect
the human population to interact with the coral reef ecosystem we must take
the responsibility to manage this system to the best of our abilities.  I
doubt that anyone on this list, including those who work for Reef Ball,
believes that the Reef Ball method is THE solution for every coral reef

If discussion (albeit somewhat bridled, please!) of commercial private
sector efforts at reef restoration are not openly discussed, then the
responsibility for reef restoration activities will tend to fall towards the
government sector.  I'm sure that the USACOE would greatly appreciate the


Bob Bourke
Oceanit - a Private For Profit Coastal Environmental Engineering and
Research Firm

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Hendee [mailto:Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 1:52 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Reef Balls, etc.

Friends and colleagues,

    After getting some very emotional messages to me personally on both 
sides of the Reef Ball question, I'm going to let the dialog continue, 
but with the provisions (please!) listed below.  I realize I'm opening 
up myself to possible censure by NOAA, but I think I'm standing on firm 
ground here.  The reason I'm going to open this is up is because the 
subject is directly pertinent to the question of how best to protect the 
coral reef ecosystem.  In other words, it is apparent that the question 
of "artificial reefs" (AR) and "fish aggregating devices" (FAD) as 
alternatives to destroyed or compromised reefs is a hot topic.  There is 
the question of whether or not nature should just take its (slow) course 
in coming back to where it was before disaster struck a reef, and of 
course there is also the question of whether or not a reef that has been 
devastated by climate change or pollution or 
nutrification/eutrophication is ever going to come back at all (whether 
you use artifical means, or not).  So if anybody has anything to say on 
this issue, let's let it all hang out now and get it over with, so that 
we will hopefully develop a very in-depth thread here and we can refer 
to it in the future via the Professional Exchange modules that NOAA's 
CoRIS (http:///www.coris.noaa.gov) develops for us from the coral-list 
discussions.  I'm hoping that those who are for these structures, and 
those who are against them, or those who just don't know but have 
questions, will let your thoughts known now, then let the subject drop 
and move on to other subjects.

    So please, let's follow these guidelines:

    *  No mention of the cost (as in advertising;  however, relative 
costs with respect to alternative means is okay...for now).
    *  No flaming, e.g., no personal attacks.
    *  Please stick to the evidence and/or research where possible.
    *  You may discuss other ARs or FADs as they relate to the topic of 
coral reef remediation (but again, no explicit mention of prices, only 
relative costs)
    I offer my apologies to those who wished this thread not to go 
forward, but I also offer my thanks to those who gave me good reasons 
for letting it go ahead.  Let 'er rip!


    Jim Hendee
    Coral-List Admin

Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list