[Coral-List] Conservation versus restoration of coral reefs

machel malay malay at flmnh.ufl.edu
Sun Feb 24 13:00:24 EST 2008

Dear Bill,

There have been a couple of papers testing the mineral accretion 
technology published by Sabater and Yap:

Sabater, M. G. and H. T. Yap (2002). Growth and survival of coral 
transplants with and without electrochemical deposition of CaCO3. 
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 272(2): 131.

Sabater, M. G. and H. T. Yap (2004). Long-term effects of induced 
mineral accretion on growth, survival and corallite properties of 
Porites cylindrica Dana. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and 
Ecology 311(2): 355.

Bottom line of their results: in the Philippine reefs where the 
experiments were conducted, there was short-term enhancement in growth 
rates of Porites cylindrica nubbins; however growth enhancement was 
mostly restricted to the first 4 months of the experiment. After ~6 
months the cathode and anode became fully accreted with CaCO3 and 
electrochemical deposition stopped. However there was also some 
enhancement in the survival of coral nubbins exposed to electrochemical 


Machel Malay
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Maria Celia D. Malay
PhD Candidate
Dept of Zoology
& Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
~ malay at flmnh.ufl.edu ~

On 24 Feb 2008, at 5:52 AM, William Allison wrote:

> Dear Tom,
> I think I am getting it. It appears that you are using a kind of 
> medical
> model in which controls are ethically unacceptable. I am sympathetic 
> to the
> intent, but suspect the potential of precipitation technology would be 
> more
> easily assessed if a conventional research approach was used and the 
> whole
> was more thoroughly explained.
> Regards,
> Bill
> On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 9:44 PM, Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net> 
> wrote:
>> Dear Bill,
>> I'm not sure where the wrong information you have came from, as you 
>> could
>> easily have asked those involved directly in the projects. For some 
>> curious
>> reason there is flood of deliberate misinformation on these projects 
>> spread
>> by those who have never seen them.
>> The breakwater reef was built in 1997, the year before the bleaching, 
>> and
>> had at least 500 to a thousand corals growing well on it before 
>> bleaching.
>> Most survived, while almost none of the corals on the surrounding 
>> reef did.
>> The breakwater reef was built in front of a severely eroding beach, 
>> and
>> turned it into 50 feet (15 m) of new beach sand growth in a few 
>> years. The
>> three small electrical reef structures were small enough (only 3 m or 
>> so
>> high) that we did not bother to mention them.
>> As mentioned earlier, we used the corals growing in the natural reef 
>> all
>> around the island as controls, and filmed them extensively before and 
>> after
>> bleaching. Mortality of the natural reef was around 95% on the outer 
>> slope,
>> and around 99% on the reef flat, which got much hotter, we measured
>> temperatures of 34 degrees C in this habitat (these are visual 
>> estimates,
>> but exact numbers can be taken from my before and after digital video
>> transects in Maldives and Seychelles). Prior to Wolf Hilbertz and 
>> myself
>> starting the electrical trickle charge work in the Maldives with Azeez
>> Hakeem, Azeez had cemented thousands of corals onto bare rock and 
>> cement
>> blocks of various sizes. We also filmed them as controls. They all 
>> died.
>> We had built uncharged steel reefs in Jamaica in the late 1980s, but 
>> they
>> quickly rusted and collapsed, so we rescued the corals and put them 
>> on the
>> electrical structures, because we found from time series photographs 
>> that
>> the charged corals were growing 3-5 times record rates for those 
>> species
>> (Porites porites and Acropora cervicornis, photographic data shown in 
>> my
>> talk at the 1996 ICRS). We quickly realized that, as in a medical 
>> study were
>> an experimental treatment is so clearly superior to the controls that 
>> it
>> becomes immoral to continue the control treatment, the only ethical
>> treatment is to treat all the patients you can with the best remedy 
>> in your
>> arsenal. Nevertheless we do have uncharged reefs in several locations 
>> in
>> Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, only to keep our student's advisors 
>> happy,
>> and the differences are immediately clear compared to the identical 
>> charged
>> reefs next to them.
>> We are now way past the point where there is any justification for 
>> killing
>> corals as controls, so it is annoying that so many people just want 
>> us to
>> watch corals die to keep them happy for statistical reasons.  We only 
>> want
>> to boost the growth of all we can, and see no point whatsoever in 
>> prolonging
>> coral suffering.  The results of the spectacular growth of corals on 
>> our
>> projects are visible on hundreds of projects we have done in some 20
>> countries, and dying coral reefs are visible in over 100 countries, 
>> to serve
>> as controls. We now have some 6 independent studies backing our 
>> growth rate
>> data presented at ICRS 12 years ago, and we find it astonishing to 
>> hear
>> continued denial from people who seem to believe anything at all they 
>> see
>> printed on paper, but won''t trust their own lying eyes to look at 
>> these
>> projects for themselves.
>> I saw two of the concrete road bed structures, not all 12, so I don't 
>> know
>> which ones they were, but they were horrifically barren 
>> post-industrial
>> concrete wastelands. We'd rather just grow  exceptionally fast-growing
>> heat-resistant corals swarming with fish schools than waste time 
>> propagating
>> these sorts of misguided efforts as controls, because anyone can see 
>> that
>> they hardly work.
>> I'll be in the field for a while, and unable to respond.
>> Best wishes,
>> Tom
>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>> President
>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>> 617-864-4226
>> goreau at bestweb.net
>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>> On Feb 19, 2008, at 12:35 PM, William Allison wrote:
>> Dear Tom,
>> Thanks for that information. I had discounted the free-standing 
>> breakwall
>> because until you mentioned it, I had the impression that it had not 
>> been
>> entirely completed before the 1998 bleaching event. I did not know of 
>> the
>> three small cones and could not even find them on your website. 
>> Despite that
>> information gap, I don't think I was completely incorrect – see below.
>> Btw: I'd be pleased to take up your invitation and visit your 
>> artificial
>> reefs sometime. Perhaps you would suggest it to Azeez. The 
>> free-standing
>> breakwall function is especially intriguing.
>> Here is my response to your last. Please excuse me if this seems
>> elementary but I want to make sure I have got it right. An experiment 
>> aims
>> to control the effects of all variables other than those under
>> investigation. Whatever the other alleged attributes of the 
>> technology you
>> are employing might be, it seems that stimulation of coral growth and
>> resistance to bleaching mortality, produced directly or indirectly by 
>> the
>> electrical current, is the main effect relevant to this discussion. 
>> To test
>> this a sufficient number of identical replicate and control
>> structures should be randomly dispersed on the reef and transplanted 
>> corals
>> randomly selected and affixed to the structures, all within a very 
>> short
>> time interval. If the requirement for identical replicate structures 
>> and
>> near simultaneous initiation is relaxed, we are still stuck with no 
>> controls
>> if the effect of electricity is to be evaluated. I hope you will now 
>> tell me
>> that such structures were in place prior to and during 1998. The 
>> general
>> point is that until an accessible, clear, precise, description of your
>> "experiment" is available, complete with aims, falsifiable hypotheses 
>> and
>> detailed experimental design, the validity of your stated results 
>> cannot be
>> critically assessed. From another perspective, because you are 
>> promoting
>> this approach as a conservation superlative and soliciting money that 
>> could
>> otherwise be spent on other conservation approaches, the onus is on 
>> you to
>> provide satisfactory evidence that can be critically reviewed. Until 
>> this is
>> done it will seem more like snake oil than science. Why hasn't it 
>> been set
>> out on your website or better still in a peer reviewed article? With 
>> regard
>> to this aspect, your mention of the artificial reef tests on Galu 
>> Faru reef
>> is apposite.
>> Your description of an artificial reef project as "…a couple of 
>> hundred
>> meters of concrete superhighway roadbed…" seems to approximate the 
>> one set
>> up by Newcastle on Anchorage Reef. I know of no other of that 
>> vintage. It
>> comprised 12 randomly dispersed units of which nine, each about 7-8 m 
>> long
>> were vaguely like roadbed and three were somewhat larger and made of 
>> one
>> meter hollow cubes. These three must have stood out from the rest as
>> distinctly unsuperhighway-like, even by SUV standards. That all 360 
>> tons of
>> concrete and steel were imported from the UK is not the issue here.
>> With respect to the above-mentioned reef, the assertion that 
>> "Thousands of
>> corals had been cemented to it, but virtually all of them died BEFORE 
>> the
>> bleaching." is questionable for several reasons (I assume that the 
>> "it" is a
>> typo and you meant "them").
>> 1). Over the years I have frequently looked in on the Anchorage Reef 
>> site.
>> Your assertion that most of the corals died before the 1998 bleaching 
>> is
>> astonishing, but not inexplicable if only a few of the widely 
>> dispersed
>> sites were visited. Although many units supported flourishing coral 
>> carpets,
>> some were impoverished, particularly those with low topographic 
>> relief (and
>> possibly resembling "superhighway roadbed"). Perhaps you were exposed 
>> to
>> only such units? When, exactly, did you visit the site, or did 
>> someone else
>> provide you with the video – not necessarily of all of the units?
>> 2). Only three of the twelve units bore coral transplants and these
>> transplants totaled hundreds, not thousands. The rest of the 
>> "thousands of
>> corals" you mention seeing got there under their own larval steam, 
>> implying
>> that if one is compelled to built artificial reefs of any sort,
>> transplantation is not only unnecessary, but with its financial and 
>> carbon
>> costs and largely unquantified effects on the donor reefs, 
>> undesirable.
>> Details of the Newcastle project's aims, methods, research design, and
>> results are readily accessible (Clark & Edwards, 1994, 1999), as is 
>> their
>> largely negative assessment of the artificial reef and transplant 
>> approach
>> for reef rehabilitation (Clark & Edwards, 1999; Edwards & Clark, 
>> 1999).
>> References with abstracts appended.
>> Best wishes to you too,
>> Bill
>> References:
>> Clark, S. and A. J. Edwards (1994). "Use of artificial reef 
>> structures to
>> rehabilitate reef flats degraded by coral mining in the Maldives." 
>> *Bulletin
>> of Marine Science* *55*(2-3): 726-746.
>> Abstract
>> Three hundred and sixty tons of concrete reef structures have been
>> deployed over a 4-ha experimental site on a 1-2 m deep reef flat in 
>> the
>> Maldives which was mined for coral 20 years ago and still has less 
>> than
>> 2.5% live coral cover. Colonization of four sets of three, 
>> approximately
>> 50 m2, artificial reef structures of varying topographic complexity 
>> and
>> stabilizing effect, and one set of three replicate 50 m2 mined 
>> control areas
>> has been monitored. All structures were rapidly colonized by fish.
>> Clark, S. and A. J. Edwards (1999). "An evaluation of artificial reef
>> structures as tools for marine habitat rehabilitation in the 
>> Maldives." *Aquatic
>> Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems* *9*(1): 5-21.
>> Abstract
>> 1. In the Maldives, coral mining for the construction industry has
>> resulted in widespread degradation of shallow reef-flat areas. Due to 
>> the
>> loss of these coastal resources and the associated problems of coastal
>> erosion, there is an urgent need to find practical methods for
>> rehabilitating mined reefs.  2. The slow rates of natural recovery of
>> mined reefs has prompted interest in the potential of artificial reef
>> structures to rehabilitate these degraded habitats. An experimental
>> artificial reef programme was initiated in 1990 to discover whether 
>> it is
>> feasible to use a bio-engineering approach to kick-start natural reef
>> recovery.  3. The main goals of the project were to restore the 
>> capacity
>> of degraded reefs for sea defense and their ability to harbour fish 
>> species.
>> Accordingly, 360 t of concrete structures of varying levels of 
>> topographic
>> complexity, stabilising effect and cost were deployed on a heavily 
>> mined
>> study site close to the capital island, Male.  4. Within 1 year of
>> deployment, the artificial reef structures had similar or greater 
>> species
>> richness and densities of reef fish than did control pristine reef 
>> flats.
>> However, the community structure of the fish populations on the 
>> artificial
>> reef structures was significantly different to that on unmined reef 
>> flats.
>> 5. Preliminary results of a monitoring programme indicated that
>> substantial coral recruitment had occurred on the larger reef 
>> structures
>> which were each supporting ca. 500 colonies, some of which were 
>> approaching
>> 25 cm in diameter after 3.5 years.  An evaluation of the 
>> effectiveness of
>> the various artificial reef structures is discussed in relation to 
>> their
>> design features and costs and in line with timescales for the recovery
>> processes.
>> Edwards, A. J. and S. Clark (1999). "Coral Transplantation: A Useful
>> Management Tool or Misguided Meddling?" *Marine Pollution Bulletin* 
>> *37*(08-12):
>> 474-487.
>> Abstract
>> The primary objectives of coral transplantation are to improve reef
>> `quality' in terms of live coral cover, biodiversity and topographic
>> complexity. Stated reasons for transplanting corals have been to: (1)
>> accelerate reef recovery after ship groundings, (2) replace corals 
>> killed by
>> sewage, thermal effluents or other pollutants, (3) save coral 
>> communities or
>> locally rare species threatened by pollution, land reclamation or pier
>> construction, (4) accelerate recovery of reefs after damage by 
>> Crown-of-
>> thorns starfish or red tides, (5) aid recovery of reefs following 
>> dynamite
>> fishing or coral quarrying, (6) mitigate damage caused by tourists 
>> engaged
>> in water-based recreational activities, and (7) enhance the 
>> attractiveness
>> of whether the receiving area is failing to recruit naturally.
>> The potential benefits and dis-benefits of coral trans- plantation are
>> examined in the light of the results of re- search on both coral
>> transplantation and recruitment with particular reference to a 4.5 
>> year
>> study in the Maldives. We suggest that in general, unless receiving 
>> areas
>> are failing to recruit juvenile corals, natural recovery processes are
>> likely to be sufficient in the medium to long term and that 
>> transplantation
>> should be viewed as a tool of last resort. We argue that there has 
>> been too
>> much focus on transplanting fast-growing branching corals, which in 
>> general
>> naturally recruit well but tend to survive trans- plantation and 
>> re-location
>> relatively poorly, to create short-term increases in live coral 
>> cover, at
>> the expense of slow-growing massive corals, which generally survive
>> transplantation well but often recruit slowly. In those cases where
>> transplantation is justified, we advocate that a reversed stance, 
>> which
>> focuses on early addition of slowly recruiting massive species to the
>> recovering community, rather than a short-term and sometimes 
>> short-lived
>> increase in coral cover, may be more appropriate in many cases.
>> Edwards, A. J., S. Clark, et al. (2001). "Coral bleaching and 
>> mortality on
>> artificial and natural reefs in Maldives in 1998, sea surface 
>> temperature
>> anomalies and initial recovery." *Marine Pollution Bulletin* *42*(1):
>> 7-15.
>> The bleaching and subsequent mortality of branching and massive 
>> corals on
>> artificial and natural reefs in the central atolls of Maldives in 
>> 1998 are
>> examined with respect to sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. SST
>> normally peaks in April-May in Maldives. The UK Meteorological 
>> Office's
>> Global sea-Ice and SST data set version 2.3b shows that in 1998 
>> monthly
>> mean SST was 1.2±4 S.D. above the 1950-1999 average during the warmest
>> months (March-June), with the greatest anomaly in May of +2.1°C. 
>> Bleaching
>> was first reported in mid-April and was severe from late April to 
>> mid-May
>> with some recovery evident by late-May. At least 98% of branching 
>> corals
>> (Acroporidae, Pocilloporidae) on artificial structures deployed on a 
>> reef
>> flat in 1990 died whereas the majority of massive corals (Poritidae,
>> Faviidae, Agariciidae) survived the bleaching. The pre-bleaching coral
>> community on the artificial reefs in 1994 was 95% branching corals 
>> and 5%
>> massives (n = 1589); the post-bleaching community was 3% branching 
>> corals
>> and 97% massives (n = 248). Significant reductions in live coral 
>> cover were
>> seen at all natural reefs surveyed in the central atolls, with 
>> average live
>> coral cover decreasing from about 42% to 2%, a 20-fold reduction from
>> pre-bleaching levels. A survey of recruitment of juvenile corals to 
>> the
>> artificial structures 10 months after the bleaching event showed that 
>> 67% of
>> recruits (>0.5 cm diameter) were acroporids and pocilloporids and 33% 
>> were
>> from massive families (n = 202) compared to 94% and 6%, respectively, 
>> in
>> 1990-1994 (n = 3136). Similar post-bleaching dominance of recruitment 
>> by
>> branching corals was seen on nearby natural reef (78% acroporids and
>> pocilloporids; 22% massives). A linear regression of April mean 
>> monthly SST
>> against year was highly significant (p < 0:001) and suggests a rise of
>> 0:16°C per decade. If this trend continues, by 2030 mean April SST in 
>> the
>> central atolls will normally exceed the anomaly level at which corals 
>> appear
>> there are susceptible to mass bleaching.
>> On Feb 17, 2008 6:38 PM, Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net> wrote:
>>> Dear Bill,
>>> Your statements about controls and replicates in our project are
>>> completely incorrect. I guess you have not seen them yourself? One 
>>> electric
>>> reef structure (roughly 5 m high, 4 m wide at the base) on the fore 
>>> reef
>>> slope had about 16 times higher survival than surrounding reefs, 
>>> three more
>>> smaller projects (each about 3 m high, and 2x2 meters base) in the 
>>> same
>>> habitat had similar results, and one structure on the reef flat (50 
>>> m long,
>>> 1.5 m high, about 5 m wide) had about 50 times higher survival than
>>> surrounding reefs. The larger projects had many hundreds of corals 
>>> on them,
>>> not just a few.  Another large project was done after bleaching, and 
>>> so has
>>> on bearing on bleaching survival. For controls we compared thousands 
>>> of
>>> corals that had previously been cemented on to concrete blocks and 
>>> dead
>>> reef. Even though they were all doing well prior to bleaching, every 
>>> single
>>> one of the control coral transplanted using conventional methods 
>>> died,
>>> i.e. 100% mortality and 0% survival, compared to around 1-5% 
>>> survival of
>>> natural corals on the nearby reef, and 50-80 percent survival on the
>>> electric reefs. We have hundreds of photographs and around 50 hours 
>>> of
>>> digital video transects of the electric reefs, natural reefs, and 
>>> control
>>> transplants taken before and after bleaching that document these 
>>> results.
>>> Typical video of all three before during and after were presented at 
>>> ICRI.
>>> I'm not sure if the artificial reef project by the World Bank you are
>>> referring to was done before or after the bleaching? If after it has 
>>> no
>>> bearing on survival from bleaching. The only other reef restoration 
>>> project
>>> I looked at in North Male Atoll, was where a couple of hundred 
>>> meters of
>>> concrete superhighway roadbed was laid on a dead reef. Thousands of 
>>> corals
>>> had been cemented to it, but virtually all of them died BEFORE the
>>> bleaching. I have video footage of the entire length of these 
>>> projects, and
>>> the contrast with our results on the electric reefs  couldn't 
>>> possibly be
>>> more dramatic. I have not had the money to get back to the Maldives 
>>> for the
>>> last 7 years, but since you live there in the same atoll as both of 
>>> these
>>> projects, you can easily contrast them yourself. I think you will 
>>> still find
>>> the difference extraordinary and look forward to your personal 
>>> observations
>>> of the coral and fish abundance on our projects compared to the 
>>> concrete
>>> planting projects.
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Tom
>>>  On Feb 17, 2008, at 6:11 PM, William Allison wrote:
>>>  Dear Tom,
>>> In your message of Feb 2 (repeated Feb 13) you assert that the major
>>> funding agencies are neglecting your product because they have given 
>>> up on
>>> coral reef restoration. Without condoning it, I can think of at 
>>> least one
>>> artificial reef project in Maldives funded by an arm of the World 
>>> Bank in
>>> recent years. Perhaps there is another explanation for your 
>>> situation.
>>> Despite the extraordinary Maldives bleaching results presented in 
>>> your
>>> message, interest may be low because the experimental design cannot 
>>> sustain
>>> the conclusions. In this case there was one experimental unit (a 
>>> dome made
>>> of steel rod grid to which corals were tied and the whole subjected 
>>> to
>>> electrical input). There were no replicates, there were no controls.
>>> Proceeding from basic experimental design principles, valid 
>>> inferences about
>>> an experimental effect are not possible from this setup. Perhaps you 
>>> should
>>> work on that aspect.
>>> I refer specifically to this segment of your message:
>>>>>>> There is only one method known that can keep corals alive under
>>>>>>> high temperatures that would ordinarily kill them. In the 
>>>>>>> Maldives
>>>>>>> in 1998 the corals we were growing with our electrical trickle
>>>>>>> charging method had 16 to 50 times higher survival than
>>>>>>> surrounding reefs (Please note that is TIMES higher survival, not
>>>>>>> PERCENT. See T. Goreau, W. Hilbertz, & A. Azeez Hakeem, 2000,
>>>>>>> Increased Coral and Fish Survival on Mineral Accretion Reef
>>>>>>> Structures in the Maldives after the 1998 Bleaching Event,
>>>>>>> International Coral Reef Symposium, abstracts p. 263). Our corals
>>>>>>> bleached too, because they were exposed to the same temperatures,
>>>>>>> but they did not die,
>>> Regards,
>>> Bill Allison
>>> On Feb 15, 2008 10:52 AM, Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net> wrote:
>>>>> Dear Dee Von,
>>>>> The only thing that really works is to stop algae killing reefs is
>>>>> to stop polluting the water with nutrients, then the weedy algae
>>>>> die back very fast. In one bay in Jamaica that I got cleaned up of
>>>>> nutrient sources 10 years ago the weedy algae have not come back,
>>>>> and elkhorn is growing again! But we also have to cut out the
>>>>> greenhouse gas emissions too and absorb the excess CO2 now in the
>>>>> atmosphere.
>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>> Tom
>>>>> On Feb 15, 2008, at 10:46 AM, DeeVon Quirolo wrote:
>>>>>> Well stated Tommy--and the current loss of corals to disease
>>>>>> driven by pollution and poor water quality is under-estimated,
>>>>>> with some managers actually mistaking white diseases for bleaching
>>>>>> to compound the problem.  If we were to put available resources
>>>>>> into cleaning up the water, coral reefs would be far more
>>>>>> resilient than we ever imagined; above all coral reefs need is
>>>>>> clear, clean, nutrient-free waters to thrive.  What a simple
>>>>>> concept; yet millions are being spent looking for other answers
>>>>>> while ignoring this obvious, to paraphrase it,  "whale in the
>>>> room".
>>>>>> All the best, DeeVon Quirolo,  Reef Relief
>>>>>> On Wed, Feb 13, 2008 at 2:05 PM, Thomas Goreau
>>>>>> <goreau at bestweb.net> wrote:
>>>>>>>> From: Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net>
>>>>>>>> Date: February 2, 2008 1:08:20 PM EST
>>>>>>>> To: coral-list coral-list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>>>>>>>> Cc: miguel_castrence at fulbrightweb.org
>>>>>>>> Subject: Conservation versus restoration of coral reefs
>>>>>>>> Dear Miguel,
>>>>>>>> Too true, as pointed out in the New York Times article you
>>>> quote,
>>>>>>>> just  letting reefs die as a lost cause is the effective result
>>>> of
>>>>>>>> the largely unspoken consensus of most of the big conservation
>>>>>>>> groups,. governments, and funding agencies. At the UN Climate
>>>>>>>> Change Conference in Bali, the future of coral reefs and low
>>>> lying
>>>>>>>> coasts was deliberately and knowingly sacrificed, by those who
>>>>>>>> simply want to continue business as usual and the profits it
>>>>>>>> brings them.
>>>>>>>> Since the models being used to project future temperature and
>>>> sea
>>>>>>>> level impacts have serious and systematic flaws that cause them
>>>> to
>>>>>>>> under-estimate future impacts of global warming, the situation
>>>> is
>>>>>>>> more dire than they realize. The predictions being made by the
>>>>>>>> models for the impacts on coral reefs are mere guesses, not only
>>>>>>>> do they underestimate the mean rates of increase shown by the
>>>> data
>>>>>>>> (which will certainly accelerate) but also they also ignore the
>>>>>>>> variability of extreme events. An exceptionally hot year or a
>>>> big
>>>>>>>> storm will wipe these areas out LONG before mean temperature
>>>>>>>> change and sea level rise does. No number of papers based on
>>>>>>>> models in Science and Nature or wishful thinking from IYOR can
>>>>>>>> reverse this.
>>>>>>>> The bulk of the "managing resilience" fad now underway has
>>>> nothing
>>>>>>>> in fact to do with real resilience, in the sense of making
>>>> corals
>>>>>>>> more capable of withstanding thermal stress. It is instead a
>>>>>>>> desperate search for those sites that had less stress to begin
>>>>>>>> with, due to local weather or circulation patterns, or had
>>>> already
>>>>>>>> long lost the stress-sensitive species and therefore
>>>> superficially
>>>>>>>> seem to appear more stress-tolerant. As thermal stress
>>>> increases,
>>>>>>>> even those few areas lucky enough to have escaped its serious
>>>>>>>> effects so far will succumb, sooner rather than later, for the
>>>>>>>> reasons stated above. Nevertheless, after the Indian Ocean
>>>> tsunami
>>>>>>>> the World Bank Expert Group on Coral Reef Restoration and the
>>>>>>>> International Coral Reef Initiative told the countries affected
>>>>>>>> that restoration is "neither feasible nor prudent" and that they
>>>>>>>> should do nothing at all, they should just wait and the
>>>> resilient
>>>>>>>> reefs would grow back all by themselves. But almost all of the
>>>>>>>> reefs in these places were already long dead for one reason or
>>>>>>>> another, and had failed to recover!
>>>>>>>> There is only one method known that can keep corals alive under
>>>>>>>> high temperatures that would ordinarily kill them. In the
>>>> Maldives
>>>>>>>> in 1998 the corals we were growing with our electrical trickle
>>>>>>>> charging method had 16 to 50 times higher survival than
>>>>>>>> surrounding reefs (Please note that is TIMES higher survival,
>>>> not
>>>>>>>> PERCENT. See T. Goreau, W. Hilbertz, & A. Azeez Hakeem, 2000,
>>>>>>>> Increased Coral and Fish Survival on Mineral Accretion Reef
>>>>>>>> Structures in the Maldives after the 1998 Bleaching Event,
>>>>>>>> International Coral Reef Symposium, abstracts p. 263). Our
>>>> corals
>>>>>>>> bleached too, because they were exposed to the same
>>>> temperatures,
>>>>>>>> but they did not die, because they had more metabolic energy to
>>>>>>>> resist stress. Therefore there is a proven way to keep reefs
>>>> alive
>>>>>>>> where they would otherwise die, and in our Coral Arks in some 20
>>>>>>>> countries we are now growing more than 80% of all the coral
>>>> genera
>>>>>>>> in the world, despite absolutely no funding whatsoever for
>>>> serious
>>>>>>>> coral reef restoration or adaptation work. This work is entirely
>>>>>>>> being done with very small individual donations and in-kind
>>>>>>>> funding from concerned locals in poor countries who just want to
>>>>>>>> keep their corals and fish alive even though the international
>>>>>>>> community and funding agencies have let them know in the most
>>>>>>>> tangible possible way that they couldn't care less if they die.
>>>>>>>> Our work has been widely ridiculed as a futile waste of time by
>>>>>>>> those tossing around the big bucks. They say: if you can't save
>>>> it
>>>>>>>> all, what's the point? Our response is: if we don't save all we
>>>>>>>> possibly can, what will we have left? They say: it is very
>>>>>>>> dangerous to tell people you can restore reefs because then you
>>>>>>>> are encouraging them to go and destroy reefs! We respond: that
>>>> is
>>>>>>>> like accusing tree planters of causing rainforest destruction!
>>>>>>>> What we can't seem to get these folks to understand is very
>>>>>>>> simple. We are already way past the point where conservation
>>>> alone
>>>>>>>> of what is left can maintain the ecosystem services of coral
>>>>>>>> reefs. Every Marine Protected Area I've seen is full of dead and
>>>>>>>> dying corals, and no matter how much money is spent setting them
>>>>>>>> up and managing them, they are powerless to stop the decline,
>>>> much
>>>>>>>> less reverse it. If we don't start large scale restoration we
>>>> can
>>>>>>>> kiss our marine biodiversity, fisheries, tourism,beaches, and
>>>>>>>> shore protection goodbye. Large scale restoration is now our
>>>> only
>>>>>>>> hope. But no decision makers or funders seem to get it. Nor will
>>>>>>>> those who predictably respond to this message saying that marine
>>>>>>>> protected areas and international campaigns to encourage
>>>>>>>> resilience are the answer.
>>>>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>>>>> Tom
>>>>>>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>>>>>>> President
>>>>>>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>>>>>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>>>>>>> 617-864-4226
>>>>>>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>>>>>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>>>>>>>> On Feb 2, 2008, at 12:00 PM, coral-list-
>>>>>>>> request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 09:31:04 -1000
>>>>>>>>> From: Miguel Castrence <miguel_castrence at fulbrightweb.org>
>>>>>>>>> Subject: [Coral-List] The Preservation Predicament
>>>>>>>>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>>> This recent NY Times article caught my attention, especially
>>>> this
>>>>>>>>> provocative statement:
>>>>>>>>> "Some conservationists advocate triage, accepting that some
>>>>>>>>> ecosystems, like coral reefs, may not survive in a warmer
>>>>>> world, and
>>>>>>>>> putting their efforts elsewhere."
>>>>>>>>> I wonder if such statements could be damaging for our
>>>> endeavors.
>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> Miguel Castrence
>>>>>>>>> PhD Student | UH-Manoa Geography | www.geography.hawaii.edu
>>>>>>>>> Graduate Degree Fellow | East-West Center | eastwestcenter.org
>>>>>>>>> Research Assistant | Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology |
>>>>>>>>> www.himb.hawaii.edu
>>>>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>>>>> End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 56, Issue 3
>>>>>>>>> *****************************************
>>>>>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>>>>>> President
>>>>>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>>>>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>>>>>> 617-864-4226
>>>>>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>>>>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>>>>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>>>>> President
>>>>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>>>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>>>>> 617-864-4226
>>>>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>>>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> DeeVon Quirolo, executive director, Reef Relief
>>>>>> NOTE: This is a new email address; please change your records.
>>>>>> Reef Relief, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to
>>>>>> protecting coral reefs (305) 294-3100 fax (305 293-9515
>>>>>> www.reefrelief.org Mailing address: Reef Relief, Post Office
>>>>>> Box430, Key West, Florida 33041-0430. Key West Headquarters/
>>>>>> Environmental Center, 631 Greene Street, Key West, Florida.
>>>>>> Bahamas: Captain Roland Roberts House Environmental Center,
>>>>>> Parliament Street, New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
>>>>>> tel/fax (242) 365-4014.
>>>>>> Do you want to make a difference? With the stroke of your
>>>>>> keyboard, you can. Join Reef Relief's free online community at
>>>>>> www.reefrelief.org and begin receiving regular updates on coral
>>>>>> reef news and opportunities to get involved and take action.
>>>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>>>> President
>>>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>>>> 617-864-4226
>>>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>>> President
>>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>>> 617-864-4226
>>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>> Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
>>> President
>>> Global Coral Reef Alliance
>>> 37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
>>> 617-864-4226
>>> goreau at bestweb.net
>>> http://www.globalcoral.org
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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