[Coral-List] Black Reefs

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Thu Sep 8 11:23:24 EDT 2011

I agree with Alina, Steve, and Charles, regarding  "Black Reefs." 
Could it be the teak wood that is the problem? It can't be iron.  I 
worked as a salvage diver in the Florida Keys in the 1950s recovering 
scarp iron from turn of the century wrecks. Lots of coral grew on 
them except for where they were discouraged by dynamite. In the 1980s 
we documented the effects of oil wells drilled on coral reefs off of 
Key West. In the 1950s there was little concern for the environment 
so abundant iron objects and cables were discarded at the drill 
sites.  Today there is more oral there because the iron objects 
created more surface area for coral growth than the adjacent natural 
bottom.  The bottom is not black!  The latest Department of Interior 
edict issue called "The Idle Iron project" implemented by the Bureau 
Of Environment and Minerals Regulation and Environment (BOEMRE ) 
formerly MMS, directs the various energy companies (at great expense) 
to remove more than 600 idle offshore oil and gas platforms in the 
Northern Gulf of Mexico. As divers in the area know, these offshore 
rigs are incredible artificial reefs and  likely more productive than 
all the natural reefs in the Northen Gulf of Mexico. They also 
support coral growth as well as a wide variety of fish from the 
surface down to whatever depth in which they are located.  They are 
not Black Reefs! There is now a growing effort to save them called 
SAVE THE BLUE. Listers will be hearing more about that later. Gene  

No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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