Could bombing benefit Vieques reefs?

Les Kaufman lesk at
Wed Dec 8 08:52:25 EST 1999

I want to thank Jim for the clarifications regarding Johnston Atoll vs.
Vieques, though I am a bit horrified that anything I said could have been
misconstrued as having implied that Johnston had been cratered.  I must
have been too subtle.  My point was only thata history of  military
jursidiction was not an entirely bad thing in all cases or in all ways.
It should be obvious that transition to long-term stewardship with
conservation in min and adequate resources to effect this goal, is the
desired situation.

I was also trying to DISPEL a notion that Johnston was a wasteland, an
impression that
might have been generated by existing misconceptions.  The Johnston atoll
reef is one of the most beautiful, interesting, and intact that I have
ever seen, and is a priceless observatory in which we can learn much about
coral reef ecology in an environment where we can also hope to seggregate
global from local signals.  All of this has nothing to do with the
military, and everything to do with recognizing the unique values
represented by the coral reef systems historically within military

As for Vieques, these days ANY Caribbean reef under effective stewardship
is a priceless thing, especially if it holds hope of preserving intact
representatives of Atlantic acroporid assemblages, which have been greatly

 Les Kaufman
Boston University Marine Program
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215
lesk at
617-353-5560 office
617-353-6965 lab
617-353-6340 fax

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