[Coral-List] Coral List Submission

andrew ross andyroo_of72 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 26 21:04:27 EDT 2005

Eric and the Coral-List,
Eric: thanks for being so transparent with the golf course plan.
On the Jamaican North Coast we've got several large golf complexes to the East of Montego Bay.
These courses have had great impacts on the watershed including modifications to drainage and erosion and high coastal turbidity during the construction phase, particularly with several large downpours beyond what was expected in the engineering and permitting. Of course these have done nasty things to the local coral, seagrass and the fishery and water based tourism products. 
In the longer term, Eric, you will need to look at how his grass is draining... not over the grass, but through it and into the ground. In Montego Bay are seeing enormous blooms of the green algae Chaetomorpha, beginning a few weeks after the beginning of the summer rains in the vicinity of these golf courses, likely responding to fertilizers coming in from underground drainages. Eric, if you've not got a complete, impermeable barrier underneath your grass collecting your fertilized irrigation water, it will go into the underlying sand/gravel/water table and onto your reef and corals... some 45 feet away.
I'll reckon that other respondents have mentioned the potential impacts to your golf product in terms of coastal erosion and reduced general aesthetics with any reduction to these corals, so I'll not go into those.
Thanks again, and i hope we are being helpful,
Andrew Ross

Vanese Flood <> wrote:
Hi Erik,
I'm surprised at the comment "with bleaching, etc
there are more pressing issues in the coral world". 
At this point, all corals that are in healthy
condition should be kept that way precisely because of
coral bleaching on other reefs.
Additionally, mangroves are "wetlands". They are
important buffers to both land from hurricane damage
and to reefs from land run-off. The affects of last
year's Tsunami were greatly worsened in areas where
mangroves had been cut back for commercial fish
farming. The golf course construction must be costing
millions. Surely they should protect their investment
by letting nature provide an important buffer from
storm erosion. Mangroves will provide this. As for a
"wet land" buffer for runoff from
the fertilizer -- does anyone on the list know if
mangroves can serve in this way??
In addition to this, mangroves are important fish
hatcheries/nurseries. Get the fishermen and dive
operators involved in this project. I'll stick my
neck out here and say that THERE is a direct effect on
fish populations when mangroves have been depleted.
The more involvement from various other businesses in
the area, the stronger your argument to get the
developers to work with you.
Good luck, and keep us posted on the development. 
Vanese Flood

--- Erik Gauger wrote:

> At the beginning of this week, Kalai posted a public
> reply to my
> email about Guana Cay. He asked, "how close is the
> reef to the
> golf course?"
> The answer is that the reef is 45 feet from the
> shore. There is a
> photo here. The land is a proposed fairway.
> I have received over 50 gracious replies to my
> original query. It
> may take me a few weeks to respond to everybody. 
> However, the
> assistance I have received has been enormous. I
> understand that
> with bleaching, etc there are more pressing issues
> in the coral
> world.
> I want to make it clear that the proposed golf
> course is very
> 'green' and that this issue is one of 'best
> practices' versus 'what
> will actually happen to the reef.' The golf course
> uses seagrass
> paspalam, and the land will be terraformed so that
> the runoff from
> the fertilizer will go into a manmade wetlands (the
> mangroves are
> being cleared for a 250 slip marina).
> Several of you have written me that golf courses can
> be built in a
> very green way. I am familiar with such golf course
> projects in
> places like Hawaii, where the golf course and reef
> are separated by
> hundreds of yards and even hills. Guana Cay is very
> different
> because it is a tiny island only an 1/8th of a mile
> wide and seven
> miles long. The 250 boat marina will be dredged
> from mangroves or
> wetlands, and will be as close to the reef as the
> Disney dredging
> project, which was estimated to have killed off 1/3
> of the corals
> on the Northeastern edge of the island.
> A large pdf of the golf course plan:
> df
> and my map of the island:
> Thanks for all your assistance in helping someone
> from the outside.
> Erik
> > 

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