[Fwd: Land-Based Sources of Pollution]

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Fri Dec 20 16:53:35 EST 2002

I agree with Jim that the term "pollution" is politically charged.
However, the Federal Administration representatives did adopt
"Land-based Sources of Pollution" as a focus area for 2003-2006.  Under
the "Joint USDA-EPA Proposal on Land Based Sources of Pollution", it was
announced that "Within 45 days, USDA and EPA will produce the framework
to more fully develop this proposal".

It sounds to me like the Administration is accepting this moniker for a
problem that needs to be addressed.  While I concur with Jim that the
basic science needs to address specific threats and potential solutions
for these, that should not mean that we abandon the broad issue of
"Land-based Sources of Pollution" as a political framework.  It is
usually most constructive to use a political banner that the
Administration has already accepted.  At least with "Land-based Sources
of Pollution", we have a moniker that is recognized and understood by
those in high political positions.

I guess what I am suggesting is that we should use the term "Land-based
Sources of Pollution" to promote a suite of activities that the
scientific issues such as nutrient increases and light reduction are a

Just my humble opinion, which is not an official position of NOAA or the
U.S. government.


Jim Hendee wrote:

>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
>       Cheers,
>       Jim
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: Land-Based Sources of Pollution
>Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 11:38:30 -0500
>From: Jim Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov>
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>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 http://coralreef.gov/dec2002.cfm), 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
>http://coralreef.gov/CRTFAxnPlan9.PDF), 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
>(http://www.coral.noaa.gov) and NOAA CoRIS (Coral Reef Information
>System, http://www.coris.noaa.gov) 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!
>    Cheers,
>    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.
>For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
>digests, please see http://www.coral.noaa.gov/lists/coral-list.html .
>For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
>digests, please see http://www.coral.noaa.gov/lists/coral-list.html .

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Chief of NOAA Paleoclimatology Program and
Director of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology

NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
325 Broadway E/CC23
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Voice: 303-497-6172                  Fax: 303-497-6513
Internet: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
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