[Coral-List] Berman Oil Spill Restoration

Tom Williams ctwiliams at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 16 05:45:39 EDT 2006

To the List

Regarding that if something is sick it is not worth as
much as when it is well...and may be involvled in what
is sometimes call consequential damages.

The grounding has direct adverse effects and damages -
the value of the damages are based upon the value of
the resource or the value of re-instating the resource
to its original condition.   As reefs are dying, their
loss has little value (tongue in cheek). Another way
is that the remaining un-ground reef has greater value
than before the grounding as less is available to the

The grounding has now opened a hole and a few other
boxes and can probably be claimed to damaged the reef
beyond the direct physical losses and therefore the
value of the damages and the consequential damages
resulting in further indirect losses are worth more
than applied to restoration....

Basically, attempts to restore should be based on the
physical and the ecosystem damages and something and
alot of money should be spent to restore and monitor
the restoration in order to develop direct data for
futre similar occurrences and to develop improvements
of methods to deal with the next groundings and the
further deteoration of the health of most reefs. 
Opening the physical hole in the reef should at least
requires putting in "concrete reefs" to reestablish
someting in the way of similar current and swell

Dr. Tom Williams

--- Greg Challenger <gchallenger at msn.com> wrote:

> My question to the list is....given the current
> state of thermal stress, diseases, high Atlantic
> hurricane cycle and human pressures....do you, as
> scientists, believe that "natural recovery" approach
> is the best approach for ship groundings?
> It depends entirely on the setting and the injury. 
> In this case, thermal stress and coral disease may
> do little to affect the natural recovery of an
> eolianite reef and associated organisms.  In
> addition, the dramatic high energy environment at
> the grounding site may make active restoration
> impractical.   The settllement monies mentioned are
> for the grounding and effects of oil on the
> nearshore environment.  Given the many underlying
> anthropogenic stresses, it is possible that active
> recovery actions at grounding sites could be viewed
> as a waste of time if they will fail in the face of
> advancing decline.  It is possible that the use of
> monies to address underlying problems rather than
> direct injuries is a better way to go.
> My 2 cents
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Todd Barber
> Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 1:33 PM
> To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Berman Oil Spill Restoration
> Hello Listers,
> It was recently pointed out to me that $5,712.336 as
> given as a settlement for Reef Injury to the
> responsible parties to compensate for the Berman Oil
> Spill and Reef Grounding off Puerto Rico and that a
> restoration plan was posted to the internet site
> that contains the following statement, "
> Proposed Primary Reef Restoration Alternative
> (Natural Recovery) (Proposed Preferred) The only
> primary restoration activity proposed for the Berman
> site is the no-action alternative, known as natural
> recovery
> 1         Project Description and Background
> The no-action alternative would not involve any
> direct human intervention to restore, or cause
> accelerated recovery of the injured resources.
> The restoration objectives would be partially met by
> the no-action alternative, in that lost resources
> would be allowed to recolonize the area, and lost
> services would be provided by the organisms that
> become reestablished there.  Natural recovery would
> not meet the objective of returning the resource to
> its baseline condition because the loss of the
> vertical rock outcrops and other rocky substrates
> crushed by the grounding are permanent losses. 
> However, the no-action alternative would cause the
> least amount of intentional disturbance to
> recolonization of the grounding site that has
> occurred in the years since the incident.  This
> alternative is already 12 years underway.
> The no-action primary restoration alternative would
> cost nothing to implement.  If monitoring is
> included in the alternative, the costs would include
> intermittent labor of a small team of scientists who
> would collect data and prepare monitoring reports
> (likely less than $100,000).  Natural recovery is
> expected to take essentially forever, because
> attainment of pre-incident conditions is not
> expected at the grounding site.  However, a more
> reasonable approximation is that maximum recovery
> will occur within 60 to 100 years if no other
> environmental manipulation of the site occurs
> (Hudson and Goodwin 1995)."
> Now, please not this is taken partially out of
> context as the report also suggests a host of other
> uses of the money such as aquisition of land for
> conservation, improved access to public beaches,
> improved quality of public beaches, and restoration
> of el morro public battery.  And it gives
> alternatives to natural recovery such as possible
> seagrass restoration or reef rehabilitation
> activities. (You can find the full text here
> My question to the list is....given the current
> state of thermal stress, diseases, high Atlantic
> hurricane cycle and human pressures....do you, as
> scientists, believe that "natural recovery" approach
> is the best approach for ship groundings?  And where
> there are compensible damages to reefs..should we
> forget trying to rehabilitate reefs directly and
> instead divert the funds obtained from damages to
> conservation activities in related ecosystems or use
> them for other human goals?
> Does anyone find it strange that is has been 12
> years since the grounding and the responsible
> parties are just now releasing a plan for the
> rehabiliitation?  PS I am NOT trying to be critical
> of any of our agencies, or people that have worked
> on this project...I am only questioning our
> PROCESSES. I would appreciate it if people
> responding to this message address only the
> processes and theoritical quesitons and avoid any
> inflamitory remarks about the specific project.
> Thanks,
> Todd R. Barber
> Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
> 3305 Edwards Court,  
> Greenville, NC 27858
> 941-720-7549 Cell
> 252-353-9094 Direct
> Skype Toddbarber
> MSN messenger reefball at hotmail.com
> reefball at reefball.com (email address)
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