[Coral-List] Fertilizing the ocean - disillusionment

Chris Hind cixcell at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 11 14:00:40 EDT 2007

ALOT of chelated iron gets dumped on crops in the redlands in southwestern miami dade county for produce. the ground is extremely porous. its easy to believe this stuff is making it's way to the keys and causing corals to be smothered by algae.
i wish there were satellite photos from prior decades where we could see the expansion of the turtlegrass beds as civilization encroaches.

It will be interesting to see what happens when they begin using this pesticide on strawberry crops in the redlands. supposedly the new pesticide will be used in both california and florida.

EPA approves new pesticide despite scientists' concerns

Its probably best though to write off the keys. So many problems would have to be resolved.

- They would need to bring back diadema levels through breeding projects (its fascinating if you compare the spread of the diadema plague with the coconut palm lethal yellowing plague)
- they would need to pump sewage out of the keys and take everyone off septic systems.
- The place is horribly overfished.
- There are huge trash dump mountains located right next to black point marina (known fondly as mount trashmore) and in the lower keys leeching God-knows-what into the water table. Residents tell me there used to be trees by the trash heap by black point marina but they gradually died from whatever was leeching out of the hill. Ive heard realestate developers have redirected the run off straight into biscayne bay but i cannot confirm that.
- There are many MANY aquarium shops in miami-dade county harvesting stuff straight out of the ocean raping nature as much as they can. The owner of one store in particular pulling gorgonians right out of the shallows at john pennekamp coral reef SP. Ive seen native florida zoos and urchins on ebay. I see native corals offered for sale or trade on reefkeeping websites. local florida zoos scraped off rocks and offered up on aquarium sites in trade for 'any type of zoo'.
you dont dare tell anyone local where to see anything without them rushing over immediately to scrape it wholesale off the rocks and try to sell it. (as was my experience) people could easily go to local aquarium stores and inspect this for themselves but when local police dont even enforce the traffic laws how can you expect anything more?

Very few have the slightest concern for conservation here.
Many people who claim to be in reef conservation here are only out to either suck the teat of government funding for themselves while documenting the decline or after fame to make a name for themselves.
Ive seen NOAA people posting pictures of their private tanks filled with caribbean corals on ReefCentral.com

I may be talking out my ass but I originally moved to south florida with the extremely naive idea of doing reef conservation work.
Coming from conservation-minded california it seemed like a realistic assumption that people into reef conservation were actually interested in repairing the reefs.
Now i realize you cant be a working class citizen doing this stuff on the weekends. You're rich, well connected or a student with your parents paying your way. But for the most part- any volunteerism/conservation work here is a private club.

A word to anyone else who might want to take on the florida keys - dont bother. save your effort for places worth saving.
Find some place where people actually care about the reefs (ie. not in the continental united states)
You will do nothing but spin your wheels here as people throw roadblock upon roadblock in front of you.
In addition, you will probably run screaming from south florida as it is one of the most unfriendly and incompetant places to live in the united states.

I will continue as I always have during the 2.5 years ive been here, studying these corals and photographing them on my own time surrounded by the isolation this place affords me...
but i have basically given up on the idea that the reefs here will be saved.

----- Original Message ----
From: James Cervino PhD. <jcervino at whoi.edu>
To: Charles Booth <booth at easternct.edu>
Cc: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 10:51:19 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Fertilizing the ocean with iron to remove CO2

Charles is correct, in that Martin conducted these experiments. However, did
they not get the wrong bloom to appear??. From what I remember, and I will pull
the old journals out, the Fe stimulated a coccolith bloom instead of the true
"heavy sinkers of CO2" which are diatoms. I guess we cannot play with nature
and we will have to resort to the difficult task in drastically cutting the
fossil fuel use here in the good ole USA.

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