[Coral-List] Education of the masses

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Mon Aug 4 14:00:58 EDT 2008

Hi Skip,
I have followed this entire thread ...very closely and have really 
enjoyed reading all of the suggestions and ideas.  I have to say 
...there hasn't a single bad thought or idea or posting.  You too have 
made some critical observations in this posting ... and that is 
recognizing that everyone possesses the tools and/or knowledge to get 
the job done.  It's a matter of synergy and initiative and I am excited 
to know that so many people are so very passionate about education. 

Skip ... I have often worried about the condition of the coral reef 
ecosystem (seagrass and mangroves included!!) that mine and your 
generation will be handing off to the next generation ...but having seen 
how many of the postings on this subject came from young people still in 
universities gives me confidence that there will be a new wave of 
awareness, lead by those who have the passion to make a difference.  
Thank you and all of the others for this "Education of the Masses" 
thread.  Billy

Martin Moe wrote:
> Basically, we know what we must do, basically we know how to
> do it. What we must do is to build the will of the people to care and to want
> make the effort, and the small sacrifices, to do it. We need a Rachael Carson. We need a Silent Spring. In fact, we need a
> lot of them, in every field of endeavor that touches people where they live, in
> science, in economics, in waste treatment, in music, in literature, in the
> arts, in communication, and all other interactive fields. And where are these
> people. They are you. You’re reading this right now. No one can tell or teach you how to do this;
> it has to come from within. Do what you gut tells you. It may not be right, it
> may not do the job, but then it may give someone else what they need to
> understand and to use their talents, which may be much greater than yours and be
> more effective in creating the spark that will turn the tide. The will is there,
> you can see it in the posts on this list. You must do what you can, however
> little, however silly and “unprofessional” it may seem. Reach the young people, it sill soon be their world, for good or ill.
> Martin Moe
> A Tropical Fable
> Once there was a glorious goose, a goose that laid golden
> eggs of unimaginable beauty and value. Each and every day she laid 5 golden eggs.
> The first one was always a mild climate, never too hot and
> never too cold.
> The second was a series of tropical islands that marched in
> a long line out into a tropical sea.
> The third was warm, clear, shallow waters that bathed the
> mangrove studded shores of the islands and sheltered and nurtured all manner of
> rare tropical marine and island life. 
> The fourth was a beautiful barrier coral reef over 200 miles
> long that fringes the ocean side of these islands and protects them from storms
> and land eating ocean currents.
> And lastly, the fifth was a unique blend of the natural
> marine resources of incredible sea side beauty and limitless fisheries that
> made every day a joy of existence.
> A community of good people inhabited these islands and
> celebrated a way of life that was one with the glorious nature and seemingly
> inexhaustible resources that the good goose provided every day. More and more
> people were attracted to these islands, to live and work, to visit and play,
> and to profit handsomely from all the people that flocked to enjoy the beauty
> and the good life from the golden eggs that the kind goose produced each day.
> But many people did not realize, or did not care, that the
> gentle goose had limits and her very existence depended on a great web of life
> and a balance of nature that could adsorb only so many insults before breaking
> apart. Through ignorance and greed, the people burned fossil fuels and spewed
> out carbon dioxide to the point of impending climate change, they dug canals
> and filled wetlands and changed the very character and ecology of the islands,
> they pooped and peed in their waters, polluted the roadways, and fertilized
> their exotic vegetation and allowed all this to run off into the coastal
> waters, they fished the marine resources almost to extinction and many of them
> laughed at the efforts to conserve and protect those few resources that
> remained, and the coral reef suffered, and finally they took almost every
> opportunity to sell their rich heritage through development and exploitation
> that imperiled this very heritage.
> The good goose saddened and sickened. Her eggs grew darker
> and smaller. Some days she laid only two or three instead of five. There is
> something wrong with the goose, many people cried, the quality of her eggs is
> deteriorating, and she may be dying. There are those that say; “She will die,
> it is a shame but nothing can be done, we must take all the eggs we can now
> while she still has a few, kill her if necessary to get them all, but have fun
> now, make money and to hell with the future.”.  But fortunately, there are many, many more people that know the great
> goose can be saved if we can just take care of her, nurture her, and help her
> preserve the life she creates. It won’t be easy, it will take knowledge, work,
> commitment, sacrifice, and a great amount of caring, but it can be done. You
> can help. Learn what you must do.
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Billy D. Causey, Ph.D., Regional Director
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
National Marine Sanctuary Program
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

305.809.4670 (ex 234)
305.395.0150 (cell)
305.293.5011 (fax)

Billy.Causey at noaa.gov

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