[Coral-List] Save the reef adjacent to the Majuro International Airport.

Andrew Finlay finlayrao at yahoo.co.uk
Wed May 18 15:53:09 EDT 2011


I am sad to hear the sourcing of material to construct international donor funded infrastructure projects remains a desperate issue on Majuro.

Such a simple amendment of the conditions of an EIA license to relocate the excavation works away from the sensitive areas is of course a no brainer to the majority of the wider World.

As the former EPA Environmental Advisor in Majuro (2OO7-8) I can only reiterate Dean's desperate call for support and the environmental atrocities going on in Majuro. With no international media exposure in the Marshalls, environmental conditions and standards get brushed aside especially in relation to the pressure and financial weight applied to the source of material for major donor funded infrastructure projects. It may seem like a good idea to extend a runway to comply with US regs but at what cost? Is it worth destroying the very foundation of the islands to do so? 

In 2008 I acted as an Expert Witness for the RMI Government in one of the first environmental High Court cases against the aforementioned contractor working on this Airport expansion. This was a separate case to this project but was one of several regulatory violations this company had turned a blind eye to. After 7 months the contractor was convicted of all three counts of environmental damage and given a suspended sentence with the condition that the company did not break environmental regulations for five years. The next day, and after nearly two years of service to the RMI Government, the company paid off EPA board members and I was fired without reason.

I wanted to highlight this to expose the corruption going on in Majuro. International donor funded projects need to stand up and take some responsibility and give a sustainable steer to the RMI Government and the contractors when requiring such huge source of reclamation fill material. If not Majuro will continue to bulldoze and dynamite the very geological foundation on which it has evolved.

I am now back in London working and feel safe enough to express these concerns.

Dean, I wish you luck and wish you well. Please watch you back.


On Wed, 18 May 2011 13:35 BST Todd Barber wrote:

>Dear Mr. Simpson
>I am writing to solicit support for an attempt I am making to save a reef
> adjacent to the Majuro International Airport.
>I am a licensed pilot and Chairman of a well know international Publc
>NGO that works to rehabilitation coral reefs (or when not feasible to
>offer alternate methods to protect the genetic stock of the corals
>being lost by replanting tiny fragments, in a process of asexual
>reproduction, of the most important colonies and then relocating them
>to a suitably created alternate location on Reef Ball artificial reef
>Therefore I understand both aviation needs and the needs of the local
>community to protect it's reef assets (even when at present day those
>assets may be unappreciated, or unprotectable by  local government).
>Our projects work to keep costs low by training locals as teams to
>work in a simplified, yet highly effective way to prioritize, select
>and save from a genetic perspective all of the coral on a site that
>must be dredged or filled.  The process uses locals volunteers, local
>experts, international volunteers, and certified coral team leaders to
>ensure the project adapts best to local needs, conditions and
>There IS some cost involved, but the process is simple and most of the
>resources can come from the island to create jobs.  Additionally, the
>team process will create more local awareness of the global importance
>of coral reefs for islanders and it will provide additional long term
>high quality reef habitat for fisheries and marine life and in many
>cases can be structured in a way to avoid erosion to the new runway
>which saves the FAA long term in maintenance costs.
>I was alerted to this by Dean Jacobson and support his position which
>he made clear good points on the US Coral Reef List Serve today.  Do
>not hesitate to contact me if the Reef Ball Foundation can assist in
>providing solutions to allow cost effect alternatives that are better
>for the reef ecosystems which are protected under US Federal laws.
>Todd R Barber
>Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
>3305 Edwards Court
>Greenville, NC 27858
>252-353-9094 (Direct)
>941-720-7549 (Cell & Goggle Voice)
>toddbarber Skype
>www,reefball.org (Reef Ball Foundation)
>www.artificialreefs.org (Designed Artificial Reefs)
>www.reefbeach.com (Reefs for Beach Erosion)
>www.eternalreefs.com (Memorial Reefs)
>www.reefball.com (Reef Ball Foundation)
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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