[Coral-List] Tsunami Environmental Disaster

Henry Aruffo n2maps at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 8 22:53:37 EST 2005

Hello Friends:

   Many of you have written and inquired how you could help with the Tsunami 
relief efforts in Thailand.  Some of you may want to assist in repairing the 
environmental damages created by the Tsunami; problems that will have to be 
addressed as part of any long term recovery process - human and 
environmental.   During the past six months, I have been the volunteer 
director of an environmental organization dedicated to helping the ocean, 
repairing and rebuilding reefs, and encouraging an environmental spirit and 
ethic in the local Thai population.  Coral Reef Institute hosted an 
International Symposium on Coral Reef Assessment in November and has 
sponsored beach clean-ups with local Thai children. Classroom presentations 
of underwater photography are shown to children in an effort to educate them 
to the importance of coral reefs and the sea life that inhabits them.  Our 
college credit Certificate Program in Underwater Research begins in 
September, as the primary goal of Coral Reef Institute is to train 
environmentally sensitive and proficient marine researchers for all fields 
of underwater studies.

  We are not a listed charity, as we are a environmental organization 
financed by our educational programs and my personal funding, but under the 
current situation we are requesting financial assistance from anyone 
interested in helping in the environmental repairs. I have lived in Phuket 
for fourteen months and I am able to organize local and volunteer workers to 
assist in environmental work projects that will aid in the healing of 
Thailand's environmental problems. I am also able to identify reputable 
local environmental organizations that will need funding to rebuild.  A 
partial list of environmental problems related to the Tsunami is:

Over 3,600 fishing boats sunk or wrecked - some still leaking fuel and 
scattered over the sea floor

More than 2000 endangered sea turtles are missing from their breeding pens - 
now one step closer closer to extinction as they were washed inland

Fragile coral reef ecosystems within 100 -1000 meters of shore are covered 
in palm trees, chairs, remains, logs and fishing trawlers - immediate 
remedial actions are needed

Coral reefs offshore were not damaged severely (although some were) but they 
need to be professionally assessed and damages documented.

   While we do not intend to divert any funding from the human tragedy, we 
realize that there is also an important need to assist the environment.  
Helping the coral reef ecosystem will, in the future, provide the Thai 
people with sustainable food sources, restored ecological balance, and the 
rebuilding of their coastal barrier system.

   We have an account at Paypal:  savetheocean at coralreefinstitute.org  and 
will accept donations at that site or contact me for more details or 
information at:  n2maps at hotmail.com

      We will list the environmental projects on our web page as we complete 
them.  You will be able to view our assistance at our website:  
www.coralreefinstitute.org   Our site is currently being updated but our 
basic information is on-line.  All funds collected will be acknowledged and 
documented and any funds received over the cost of our clean-up and remedial 
actions will be donated to local Thai environmental organizations (turtle 
breeding projects, reef rebuilding, etc.).  There will be no administrative 
cost involved in any project.  Coral Reef Institute will assume these costs 
and use 100% of funds received for local environmental projects.  We will 
document all costs, expenditures, and donations on our web site as we 
complete each project.

   Your financial assistance in helping the environment would be greatly 
appreciated.  Many people have already donated to the human tragedy and 
cannot afford another donation, if so, perhaps you could forward this 
message to friends, family, environmentalist, or anyone willing to promote a 
fund raising event which would assist in this endeavor. Thank you for your 
generous consideration.

Environmentally yours in the care of the sea,

(Professor) Henry Aruffo
Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society
PADI IDC Staff Instructor #480218
Director - Coral Reef Institute
Phuket, Thailand

TV Interview - Tsunami Disaster -  

Newspaper story -    

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