Breakwater construction and coral damage

reefcare at reefcare at
Sun May 10 17:29:45 EDT 1998

Dear all,

Reef Care Curacao is a volunteer organisation striving to protect the
coral reef of the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. Recently we started
legal proceedings against the Curacao Sea Aquarium for enlarging and
extending its breakwaters out to a depth of 15 feet or more (5 m) in a
well developed reef area, using rocks caked with mud and sand, resulting
in enormous plumes of silt fanning out over the reef, lingering for many
hours, and resulting in reduced visibility lasting days due to
continuous washing out of mud from the rocks. We lost our case because
the judge ruled that we had not plausibly proven lasting damage to the

We, as divers, have seen the damage done by the initial construction of
the breakwaters and have seen shallow water corals disappear completely
in the area due (according to us) to that. We are now looking for expert
opinions on the damage caused by siltation on corals, and we want to ask
you, as acknowledged coral reef experts, if you share our opinion. If
so, please send us a statement, including your credentials and relevant
background as a coral reef expert. We hope at the very least to be able
to use your statements as a public refutation of the judge's decision in
a press release, and possibly as grounds for an appeal.

Please reply directly to us, our e-mail address: reefcare at

Counting on your support,


J. Greijmans
President, Reef Care Curacao

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