Land-Based Sources of Pollution

Brad Rosov brosov at TNC.ORG
Wed Dec 18 12:13:16 EST 2002

An obvious land based source of pollution would be poorly treated
sewage.  At least one previous study in the Florida Keys (Rose et al.,
1999) have cited high levels of enterococcus bacteria and viral
pathogens in canal waters.  It was strongly suspected that the source
stemmed from leaky septic tanks built upon the porous limestone
foundation of the Keys.  Preliminary results from a similar study was
released today (see in local Florida Keys newspapers.
This study, conducted by The Nature Conservancy, showed that extremely
high levels of enterococcus bacteria were present in canals immediately
following a heavy rain event.  It is theorized that accumulated
wastewater can be flushed out following a heavy rain or high tidal
surge.  I do not know of any direct effects of sewage on the coral reef
tract, however there seems to be that possibility.

Brad Rosov
Marine Conservation Program Manager
The Nature Conservancy of the Florida Keys
brosov at <mailto:brosov at>
(305) 745-8402 office
(305) 304-6275 cell

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-coral-list at
[mailto:owner-coral-list at]On Behalf Of Jim Hendee
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 11:38 AM
To: coral-list at
Subject: Land-Based Sources of Pollution

Dear Coral-Listers,

    At the 8th Meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF),
October 2-3, 2002 (San Juan, Puerto Rico), the USCRTF adopted seven
resolutions (see, the first of which
was "Improving Procedures of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force."  Realizing
that one of the procedures was a need to prioritize the 13 goals
originally stipulated in the Coral Reef National Action Plan (see, they decided the following areas
should be endorsed as Focus Areas for 2003-2006:

    a. Land-based Sources of Pollution
    b. Overfishing
    c. Lack of Public Awareness (focus on user groups)
    d. Recreational Overuse and Misuse
    e-1. Climate Change and Coral Bleaching, and e-2. Disease

    Considering more than half of the U.S. population (141 million
people) resides within 50 miles of a coast*, it is obvious that
"Land-based Sources of Pollution" is well-placed in this list.

    As informed and concientious researchers and protectors of the coral
reef environment, I am hoping that you can help to better identify these
land-based sources of pollution and perhaps help to formulate means of
correcting or identifying specific problem areas (but mainly US coral
reefs).  Thus, with this message I am hoping to generate a thread that
will be of use to those in the USCRTF that can draw upon your
expertise.  Such a thread, if successful, will be posted on the CHAMP
( and NOAA CoRIS (Coral Reef Information
System, Web Pages.  Also, if these threads
are successfully generated, perhaps we can continue on down the list
with the other Focus Areas (but let's just stick to this one, for now).

    Many thanks, and Happy Holidays!

    Jim Hendee
    coral-list admin
*  Trends in U.S. Coastal Regions, 1970-1998: Addendum to the
Proceedings, Trends and Future Challenges for U.S. National Ocean and
Coastal Policy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
August 1999.
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