[Coral-List] Majuro coral reef mining scandal via FAA

Monika Franck monikafranck at email.com
Fri Feb 17 09:40:10 EST 2012

Dear Ron Simpson

Regarding Karl Fellenius's email to you attached below after mine, kindly respond to the following:

 According to U.S. Executive Order 13089 on Coral Reef Protection, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administrtion) is not practicing professional EIA principles, by dismissing Dr Dean Jacobson's appeal against unnecessary destruction of flourishing coral reef on Majuro island/atoll. 

 One can hardly call this behaviour by the FAA and PII (Pacific International Inc.) as  /"implementing strategy and action to promote conservation and sustainable use of coral reef resources"/ which is what they should be practicing according to EO13089.

 Alarming to hear how that the FAA is turning a blind eye to application of correct EIA principles on Majuro. Unnecessary coral destruction because a fire station and runway extension can be put elsewhere on land, but a coral reef is gone forever with its life giving services to us, as it can only grow in a specific place with the right temperature, PH, clean water, light level etc, and it takes years to grow into a mature coral reef and acquire the capacity to support all coral reef life.

Distubring also to hear that people (including Dr Jacobson) have been threatened by PII with losing their jobs, and one person lost their job for standing in the way of this coral reef destruction on Majuro. This behaviour suggests we are no better than the first cave people, and that we have not really evolved much further than some other animals on this planet.

 Majuro island gov, PII and FAA acting like this against Dr Dean Jacobson, leaves no hope or point in finding solutions to other global issues and dangers to us like climate change (ocean acidification and earth's temperature rises). If authorities and governments cannot even uphold and enforce their own executive orders and principles consistently, and prevent unnecessary coral reef destruction on a case by case basis, how will they ever cope or help and be trusted with global scale environmental issues such us climate change??

 I ask you Ron Simpson, as someone who cares about what kind of ethics and quality of life and planet we are leaving being for our children, that you please do the job you were given in the FAA, and enforce the right thing (correct EIA application), and assist proper public stakeholder input by Dr Dean Jacobson, who is constantly being bullied and his appeals dismissed while the FAA conveniently looks away so that a greedy corporation and short-sighted government can have its way on Majuro and destroy more coral reef. 

 No surprise then that the U.S. has a reputation as a hypocrite nation with double standards, who lack applying and enforcing correct EIA principles consistently, judging by cases like this Majuro coral reef destruction by mining being ignored and dismissed by the FAA as per Karl Fellenius's email below and previous email by Dean Jacobson.

 It would be appropriate EIA practice to have some feedback from you personally Mr Simpson, as to why the FAA has allowed lack of EIA, and is using tax payer's money to allow coral reef distruction to carry on in Majuro without doing much about Dr Dean Jacobson's appeals to stop coral reef destruction in Majuro, or apply adequate mitigation and relocation at least?

 More detail: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2011/2011-06-22-03.html

 I look forward to your update soon Mr Simpson


----- Original Message -----
From: Karl Fellenius
Sent: 02/09/12 06:07 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] alternative - Majuro barge mining

 orig. sent from unsubscribed coral list address, so I am re-sending the post to the list. From: Karl B Fellenius Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 12:02 PM To: Ron.V.Simpson at FAA.gov Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov Subject: alternative - Majuro barge mining Mr. Simpson, I am fully aware of what is going on in Majuro with regards to the coral mining from shore at the airport. My reason for writing to you is to add a perspective from a different region of the Pacific with somewhat similar issues as the RMI. I used to work as a marine science lecturer and fisheries survey diver in Majuro about 7 years ago. Dr. Dean Jacobson was my colleague. I respect his opinions immensely. Since then I live in Port Vila, Vanuatu. My work is doing EIAs as an independent consultant on shoreline development projects. Marine life surveys and operational recommendations essentially. To complement the good work done by Fisheries and Environment. Proposed dredging operations using excavators fro!
 m the shore have been redirected i
n favour of offshore barges. It works, and it might even become common practice someday. Here in Vanuatu though, we are fortunate to have coral aggregate available in land-based quarries. Even so, there has been much evolution in recent years about how to mitigate reclamation impacts from using such materials. Or rather, how to effectively minimise sedimentation and nutrient loading. EIAs were done here for the US funded MCA ring road around Efate. In the media it was written up that we were so fortunate to have US influence here on such a mega project so that EIAs could be brought up to a responsible international standard. I must say, that I am extremely disappointed to understand that such US efforts are piecemeal, and selective. If it were across the board for US projects in the Pacific, the FAA approved LIVE coral mining in Majuro would not be happening, would it? Here in Vanuatu there are times when Fisheries and Environment approve development in proximity to some cor!
 al. It happens. But in those cases
 the coral cover is low (less than 10%), the type of coral is common, and the shoreline protection offered by the few coral bommies is minimal. And efforts are made at relocation and transplantation. And development work (almost!) always takes place with a fine silt curtain under low tide and calm conditions. I'm not saying its always the best solution, but we have guidelines. Even China tries to adhere to them here on their many 'aid' projects (Vanuatu does not recognize ROC). China more environmentally responsible than the US? Who would have thought? That comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I don't mean to belittle the US environment record in its entirety. Most certainly, Vanuatu would NEVER allow direct LIVE coral mining, let alone in an area with close to 100% cover as the Majuro reef in question. In my years here I always spoke of the Marshalls as being comparably very forward in terms of its coastal resource management. Largely I attributed this to the US presence (n!
 uclear issues aside), and RMIs ear
ly success with marine protected areas and decision-making in working groups. And lately with its shark sanctuary. So why this backward step? I know the reef Dr. Jacobson is talking about. The reef is very important for all the reasons he has already mentioned. It should not be mined. But it won't stop there. The impacts of allowing this live coral mining will reverberate throughout the Pacific. Already the news has reached Port Vila. Key people here have asked me why we go to such lengths here to limit sedimentation on already degraded reefs around the capital when the US allows destruction of healthy reefs in former territories? They know the answer of course. Politics and money and vested interests. But the real damage Mr. Simpson, is incremental wearing down of the motivation of middle and lower managers and field compliance officers, when they learn about the inability of the 'big boys' (NOAA, FAA) to do the right thing. Motivation gets replaced by apathy. You are poten!
 tially affecting further afield th
an you realise. And don't worry about Jerry Kramer and PII. They've known for years that barge mining regulation was likely. They are just getting what they can from shore before it happens. NOW is the time to implement the change, before this project demoralises everyone who understands the damage its continuation will do to the maintenance of any decent standard for coral mining in the tropical and subtropical Pacific. Thanks for your time. Rgds, -- Karl Fellenius, MRM karl at fellenius.net 678.7773321 PO Box 3183 Port Vila, Vanuatu _______________________________________________ Coral-List mailing list Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

More information about the Coral-List mailing list