[Coral-List] resiliency vs. "remnancy" vs. sustainability

DeeVon Quirolo deevon at bellsouth.net
Fri Feb 24 10:10:09 EST 2006

Ok ok,  I'll add my two cents.  At this time for coral reefs, I think 
that what we need are efforts to RESTORE coral reefs, including 
immediate efforts to reduce heavy physical impacts and habitat 
destruction, as well as improve water quality from local and regional 
pollution sources and reduce global warming (although we may have 
already crossed the critical threshold there).  We already know that 
corals need clear clean nutrient free waters to thrive and that they 
do not do well when battered by various user groups and of course 
natural events such as storms.  I think the reef resiliency approach 
is flawed because it proposes to study healthy reefs, and looks the 
other way while those corals that need our help most are 
ignored.  Applying what we know already to these reefs on the part of 
current managers would do wonders.  There you have it.  Best, DeeVon 
Quirolo, Executive Director, Reef Relief

At 09:37 AM 2/24/2006, Jim Hendee wrote:

>It would seem most people would agree that coral ecosystems aren't what
>they used to be.
>The word resiliency is another word for resilient, which means an
>ability to quickly (usually) recover from a bad or unnatural
>condition--in the present case, we might assume from a previously
>pristine (i.e., uncorrupted by civilization) condition.  I wonder if
>there are any such reefs left.   I'm not so sure the word is being used
>correctly in our fellowship (more below).
>Although "remnancy" is not a real word, one would infer that our
>colleague Phil's intended usage would be as a means to describe the
>degree or condition of the reef after it has been adversely affected by
>civilization (more colloquially:  trashed); that is, how it can be
>described as a remnant of its former "self" (biome?).  I'm not so sure
>describing how much a reef has been adversely affected from its former
>condition is useful, though, since (as was pointed out) in many cases
>the reef in question may never have been adequately described (have
>any?), especially since they're always changing (evolving) anyway, thus
>few cases in which to measure past against current condition (I guess
>that's what started the whole discussion).  But don't get me wrong:  we
>should understand what is adversely affecting the reefs so we can stop
>or ameliorate the condition.  I'm just not so sure "remnancy" has much
>practical application for science, although for political purposes it is
>probably perfectly practical.
>Instead, since we want to keep coral reefs in existence, and we want to
>provide them with the proper environment and support their vitality,
>where we can, perhaps a better word for purposes of marshaling our
>efforts is sustainability (I know I'm not the first to suggest this).
>Shouldn't we sustain the reefs until we remedy what ails them?  (Now
>there's a concept:  clean up the environment!)  We can't really do
>anything to promote resiliency (how do you measure such an ecologically
>difficult concept?), although a conducive environment might be sustained
>or managed (i.e., "cleaned up") to allow full (how to measure?)
>resiliency.   Is it possible to describe how all the members of the
>coral ecosystem interact to contribute to an integral resiliency?  This
>is extremely difficult stuff, yet I would agree the goal is laudable and
>should be pursued.
>Okay, I know, the word sustain might imply leaving everything as it is,
>rather than making things better, but I'm just not comfortable with the
>word resiliency or "remnancy."
>Just my two cents...
>     Cheers,
>     Jim
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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