[Coral-List] ASP project delay and coral mitigation

Dean Jacobson atolldino at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 3 22:41:04 EST 2012


Evidently our local paper has reported that US EPA has asked FAA to delay the new airport project (just after RMI EPA approved the latest proposal to dredge a fringing reef in the lagoon near the reservoirs).  This is wonderful news.  If possible, I would like to be included in the discussion of possible mitigations.  I have submitted my own coral relocation proposal to Port Authority and RMI EPA, and will probably be involved in the eventual underwater restoration work.

I very much appreciate the efforts of US EPA to raise the issue of ecosystem protection, as there is almost no political will to even consider it here on Majuro (despite our new shark sanctuary... coral seems to occupy a blind spot!)  As with shark conservation, no progress will be made until outside pressure is exerted.  The issue of interagency cooperation in the US to conserve coral in places like Majuro will be a topic of the upcoming Coral Reef Task Force meeting in American Samoa this August, and I would hope that both EPA and FAA will deserve to receive glowing kudos at that time.  As it now stands, FAA is responsible for funding the destruction by suction dredging of a large tract of reef near the new Fire Station, as I have meticulously documented (I have completed my high resolution underwater photomosaic map... one would expect someone at both EPA and FAA would want to see it).  There is a lot of catch-up mitigation to be done, (both in
 coral restoration and in replacing the lost picnic area, something that could be started before, not after the runway safety zone is constructed) and I would very much like to be of assistance in this.

Thanks for your attention!

Dean Jacobson, Ph.D.
College of the Marshall Islands

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