[Coral-List] A Universal Tale...
jogden at marine.usf.edu
Fri Feb 19 12:05:27 EST 2010
What a pleasure to read your post! But I have to say you do not do
justice to "your" story. Permit me.
Dixon was a young manager at Malindi Marine Park in Kenya who came to
the Florida Keys under a cooperative program between FIO and the Centre
for Tropical Coastal Management at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
in the UK. Dixon traveled to Florida on his first trip to the U.S. via
Newcastle, where he was studying for his Master's degree in Tropical
Coastal Management. I was his host. As a member of the Sanctuary
Advisory Council I took him to a meeting in the Keys during one of the
darkest days of opposition to the Sanctuary. When we arrived at the
meeting venue, Billy Causey and Council Chair George Barley were hung in
effigy in front of the hall which was filled with angry fishermen,
treasure hunters and Conchs many bearing coconuts painted with "Say No
To NOAA." For the entire day, Dixon and the Council endured the
passionate, angry testimony of this group, one of whom bowled his
coconut at the Council.
After the meeting Dixon and I went to my rental car and found that all
four tires had been slashed. I called the Monroe County Sheriff to file
a report and then asked the officer if he would take us to the Keys
Marine Lab where we were staying. In back seat of the patrol car, I
apologized to Dixon for putting him through the ordeal. He replied, "I
have had the most wonderful day!" I was incredulous and asked him to
explain. He said that this was his first trip to the U.S., a great
Democracy, where he expected differences would be settled by polite
debate and reach an amicable conclusions. "But," he said, "as I sat
there I translated the audience remarks into Kikuyu and I hear the same
thing on the Malindi Coast!"
Up to that moment I had been taken with the scale and complexity of the
Keys Sanctuary development and viewed it as unique. Dixon, however,
demonstrated that if anything, other places in the world were far ahead,
that marine parks presented universal problems and to be successful we
had to learn from each other.
Dixon, like any good story, there may be some embellishment, but I have
used your story in classes and lectures ever since. Thank you for that
and best wishes to you in the continuing work that you began so long ago.
Dixon Waruinge wrote:
> Nice story Billy, you should have posted your effigy that the Conch
> Coalition and the treasure hunters burned at one of the hearings in the
> summer of 1992 plus the flattened car tyres as they campaigned against
> the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; it left an indelible mark in
> me, and it was also a good lesson on how misinformation works.
> In practice we do not protect a habitat, or a species because we have
> all the answers, we do so primarily because we do not have the answers.
> Any action towards protection,( in this case listing) is a demonstration
> that, there are people that are willing to create the awareness that
> will help to generate the answers for better management, which may very
> well mean de-listing at a later stage.
> Dixon G Waruinge
> dixon.waruinge at unep.org
> Billy Causey <billy.causey at noaa.gov>
> Sent by: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> 19/02/2010 02:13 PM
John C. Ogden, Director
Florida Institute of Oceanography
Professor of Integrative Biology
University of South Florida
830 First Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA
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