[Fwd: Land-Based Sources of Pollution]

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Fri Dec 20 13:17:36 EST 2002

It has come to my attention that the word "pollution" is most likely too
politically charged and would not help us to get to the underlying
problem.  (After all, what is an acceptable or legal definition of
"pollution" in this context?)  For instance, sewage and/or industrial
outfall may have been permitted by law many years ago and to now call it
"pollution" immediately throws fuel on a fire of controversy.  Our
purpose should perhaps be to identify what the anthropogenic factors are
that influence reefs, then let the chips fall where they may.  For
instance, have certain levels of nutrients been shown to affect coral
physiology or the reef ecosystem, and if so, where are those levels
found?  What is the minimum amount of light a coral reef needs to
sustain growth, and if that level is not being met, where in the world
is that happening and what is the cause?  Do certain levels of dissolved
pharmaceuticals affect, say, coral reproduction, and if so, where are
those levels found.  Do tons of lost and cast off fishing lines and nets
affect the well-being of a coral reef ecosystem, and if so where is that
happening (and is this what we traditionally call "pollution")?

In short, perhaps a better way to get at the problem is to seek "effects
of anthropogenic waste" in its form as a big relentless signal impacting
the coral reef ecosystem.

Then again, maybe this thread is trying to pull too much basic research
out of the literature for the purpose of a list-server.  Just a


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