[Coral-List] AMLC Caribbean Resolution

Steve LeGore slegore at mindspring.com
Wed Oct 5 10:58:27 EDT 2005

In view of recent discussions, I thought the following resolution might be of interest to some members of this group.  Please contact me by e-mail if you wish to obtain a pdf of a postable version.

Steve LeGore, Ph.D.
LeGore Environmental Associates, Inc.
Executive Director
Assn. of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean
2804 Gulf Drive N.
Holmes Beach, FL 34217 USA
Tel: (941) 778-4650
slegore at mindspring.com

                                                                RESOLUTION of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean 
Approved by the Executive Board on September 30, 2005

Whereas reef systems within the Western North Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and waters of Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda are undergoing significant changes, some of which are incompletely understood, and
Whereas similar assemblages of plants and animals construct and populate coral reefs of the Western North Atlantic, and
Whereas this connectivity results from dispersion of propagules or adults of migratory species by regional water currents, and
Whereas the same ocean current system responsible for this genetic interchange also spreads pathogens, invasive organisms, and pollutants, and
Whereas the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean recognizes the urgent need for a holistic regional approach to understanding the status, changes, and resilience of reefs within the Western North Atlantic region, and that the ability to distinguish between regional versus local impacts and to discern cause and effect relationships is constrained by the limited time span over which previous surveys have occurred relative to the timing and spatial extent of past events, including several hurricanes, coral bleaching events, water temperature shifts, and outbreaks of coral disease, and
Whereas changes in the health or viability of Western North Atlantic reef systems and shifting of their baseline norms can only be detected by periodic reassessments of representative reefs, and
Whereas it is urgent and crucial that these relationships be clarified and understood if mankind is to ever successfully manage, protect, and conserve these unique, valuable, and besieged ecosystems,
It is therefore resolved that the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean urges and supports the immediate establishment of a long term program for assessing representative reefs, their related biological communities, and relevant physical environmental parameters periodically into the future.  To minimize analytical effects of temporal variations in observations, it is recommended that a one-year international reassessment is needed every five years, with sampling and monitoring at established repeated locations as well as at additional representative locations selected either randomly or for scientific cause.  Protocols should be employed that support resource management policy development as well as promote scientific understanding of ecosystem relationships.   It is further recommended that assessment efforts be established with a sense of immediacy and urgency in response to rapidly occurring changes and ecosystem impacts observed in recent years.

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