[Coral-List] Black Reefs

Ulf Erlingsson ceo at lindorm.com
Thu Sep 8 13:03:09 EDT 2011

The Florida Keys are not iron limited, but there are some tropical waters that are, and in such a location the addition of a ship wreck can conceivable have a huge impact and provoke a growth spur of algae. 

The other point I want to make is that the ships aren't made of "iron" but steel... Which implies that they are an alloy of iron, and as such, one must also consider what the alloying elements are.


On 2011-09-08, at 11:23, Eugene Shinn wrote:

> 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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