[Coral-List] Coral-List Digest, Vol 34, Issue 20

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Sat Apr 29 14:00:55 EDT 2006

A brief note in clarification of Todd Barber's comment below. While I  
am delighted to see his use of ecologically-sound water quality  
standards for coral reef protection from eutrophication, these values  
should not be attributed to me, but to Brian Lapointe, Peter Bell,  
Mark Littler, and Diane Littler.

In addition, their pioneering work on the nutrient levels marking the  
transition between coral-dominated and algae-dominated systems was  
not cited in our paper on Corals and Coral Reefs, which Todd Barber  
refers to below, as that paper was written several decades BEFORE  
quantitative work was done to establish the eutrophication limits of  
coral reefs. I have cited their original work in several later papers  
on watershed and coastal zone management. stating that for our corals  
to thrive we need to keep our waters clear of sewage and agricultural  
nutrients by insisting that land-based human sources of nutrients be  
recycled on land.

it is very important to credit the original literature, something  
that has become extremely rare since so many nowadays cite only  
second, third, or fourth hand references. In these the original work  
is usually ignored or distorted beyond recognition. No wonder  
students reading recent reviews are confused, and don't seem to  
recognize that we have always known that coral reefs are extremely  
fragile and increasingly vulnerable ecosystems, because the history  
of the field has been falsified by pouring old wine into new bottles,  
and peddling them as the latest fad vintage!

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

> Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 08:58:40 -0400
> From: "Todd Barber" <reefball at reefball.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Placencia,	Belize: effect of proposed
> 	development on corals in southern Belize
> To: <mtoy at destinationsbelize.com>, <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <017501c662e7$d0a96e50$6901a8c0 at reef8c359cb049>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"
> Mary Troy of Destinations Belize sent an appeal to the coral list  
> last week to assist her with an EIA reveiw for a proposed  
> development on the Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.  The  
> Reef Ball Foundation assisted her and has written a draft report  
> and there is a link to the report which is in PDF format at http:// 
> www.reefball.org/album/belize/placenciapeninsula/eiareview/ 
> index.html.  We would appreciate any additional reviews or comments  
> on this report before we go final with the document.  Additionally,  
> Rachel Graham, who is researching Goliath grouper, rays and sharks  
> in southern Belize is going to be in the area for the next couple  
> of days and she is going to do some monitoring photos of the coral  
> reefs in the area to strengthen the report.  Therefore, if anyone  
> needs any additional on-site information to make comments we have  
> this opportunity.
> We would especially appreciate any comments on nutrient limits to  
> coral reefs.  The report already references Dr. Thomas Goreau's  
> suggested levels as well as references to closed systems but  
> addtional practical limits or legislated limits would be useful  
> too.  Please make sure to convert whatever limits you suggest to  
> PPM to be comparable to the EIA units of measure.  We are most  
> interested in Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphate limts for coral  
> reefs and for Total Nitrogen, Phospahte & Dissolved Oxygen limits  
> for estuary systems health.
> We would also appreciate any comments on the heath of the reef in  
> this area if anyone on the list has done any work there.
> Mary provides a link in her earlier message (below) to the original  
> EIA if you would like to dive deeper into this issue.  The Annex  
> file is the most comprehensive.  You will also find the graphics  
> from our report at the link I posted above.
> Note: This development will have almost 13,000 people at full  
> occupancy.  And it will be located on a barrier island between an  
> estuary and the Caribbean sea were they has not been significant  
> human population before.  All comments are appreciated.
> -Todd Barber
> Chairman
> Reef Ball Foundation

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