[Coral-List] Coral Conservation versus Public Relations-Guana Cay Issue

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Tue Mar 14 15:39:34 EST 2006

Hi Michael,

I agree, there is a range of developers from evil to concerned.  Still, I 
believe that no matter were in the spectrum they fall, they can be pushed to 
do things at least a little better.  Maybe not going from evil to good at 
one time but maybe, just maybe, from evil to not so evil.

Perhaps the key here is to focus on Livingstone Marshall.  I have met him 
and he is a very reasonable kinda guy.  (I'll have to admit he even 
impressed me).   He is concerned about the environment.  He is polictical 
and therefore his mind can be changed.

If you are sure that the litigation can stop this developer, fine go that 
route as it sounds like the best route.  But in the case that it does not 
work, there should be a second plan to help the developer to reduce threats 
to the reef.

Maybe they don't want monitoring because it could show they are doing 
something bad, maybe they don't want to mediate because they know they are 
in the wrong, maybe they are afraid of science because it could stop their 
development.  So why not offer some positive things.  If we can get to the 
right people, maybe we can teach them about slow release fertilizers to save 
them expense and spare the reefs from nitrates and nitrites.

Maybe we can teach them how to plant mangroves to enhance the view while 
filtering nutrients out before they hit the reef.

Just throwing crazy ideas out, but you get the general idea.  We must find 
ways to help them that are not threatening to the development or you can be 
sure they will throw the baby out with the bath water.

We've got some close NGO contacts in the Bahamas that know Livingston.  So, 
if you have a good plan that is not polarizing, I would be glad to approach 
them and have them get the idea to Livingston from a non-threating source.

Thanks for all your work on this one, I wish everyone was as concerned about 
every development!


Todd Barber
Chairman Reef Ball Foundation, Inc.
3305 Edwards Court
Greenville, NC 27858
reefball at reefball.com


Direct: 252-353-9094
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Fax 425-963-4119

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Risk" <riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca>
To: "Todd Barber" <reefball at reefball.com>; "Erik Gauger" 
<erik at notesfromtheroad.com>; <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Conservation versus Public Relations-Guana 
Cay Issue

> Hello Todd.
> Thanks for the input.
> In a perfect world, what you propose would be the answer. It is always
> more pleasant to work with developers and educate them as you go-some
> of them are in fact quite concerned about the environment.
> That has been tried in this case, and has not worked. This company has
> a long history of noncompliance. They have shown not the slightest
> inclination to budge from their original plan, which-to summarize-has
> an 18-hole golf course, a 400-slip marina, several hundred estate homes
> and a hotel, on a piece of land that wouldn't make a decent dragstrip
> and is 100m wide at its most narrow. (I forget the exact size, but it's
> tiny.) The fringing reef, along with the turtle nesting areas, is about
> 20 metres from the edge of the golfcourse.
> They have been offered mediation-refused.
> They have been offered a joint reef-monitoring program-refused.
> Thye have refused to scale back the development, and refused any
> meaningful scientific or societal debate. Instead, for example, they
> began parts of the development before approval had been given. They
> have bypassed the community now living on that island, and are now
> embarked in a full-bore PR campaign.
> So I would propose to you that these are Bad Guys, with whom no
> negotiation ever would have worked.
> There will be a spectrum of developer mindsets: some will be so green
> as to make us proud. With some, we will be able to work, to convince
> them to accept modest requests that pay big biodiversity dividends.
> With others, the role of the concerned scientist is clear: make such a
> huge stink that the bastards give up and go elsewhere. And then we hope
> the next bunch are more reasonable.
> (Can you say "bastards" on coral-list? If so, I have some more words
> that may fit in this case...)
> Mike 

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