[Coral-List] reservoir dredging

Dean Jacobson atolldino at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 2 20:48:35 EDT 2012

I finally snorkeled the dredge site this weekend.  A PII excavator has ranged over 50-100 meters
of shoreline opposite the Majuro reservoir, industriously digging 20 foot deep
borrow pits along the edge of the reef flat where just last week there was 100%
coral.  This despite plans to rescue and
relocate coral before dredging began here.  The
devastation is sickening, almost more than I can bear.  This is a very coral-rich zone that is literally
swarming with fish (parrotfish, surgeons, rabbitfish, all used as food once
they grow bigger) in its natural state, a valuable nursery.  I have posted “before and after” panoramas on
Flickr (“Majuro reservoir reef ” set) and two equally spectacular videos on Youtube (my channel is “atolldino”).  
This one shows the dredging aftermath:  http://youtu.be/bfh1qvTCPz4
Another shows the pristine, fish-rich reef a short distance to the east, which will be mined any day now.
 (Videos would be of better
quality, but the GoPro2 housing I back-ordered is taking over a month to arrive
by mail from Cairns!  Can anyone loan me
one? I already have a camera.)
I am hoping that this mining can still be stopped, before it
spreads further to the east and further away from shore.  Once the giant crane is moved onto an
elevated platform, it can operate even at high tide, reaching much further from
shore.  Dredged coral is being piled up high
on the site, evidently to construct the platform or causeway along 500 meters
of shore.  An environmental law clinic in
the US is considering championing this case.  It is stupid, and unnecessary, and criminal that FAA is using US taxpayer’s
money to make this disastrous reef mining happen ($16 million!).  In this age, and on such a vulnerable atoll, it
is simply beyond belief.  The regulatory
process here on Majuro has been flagrantly fraudulent and dishonest.  An EMP (including a mitigation plan with no
specifics) is approved by the local EPA, then ignored.  The entire project is mired in corruption, greed,
incompetence and willful ignorance, with FAA’s inexcusable consent.  How can this be tolerated?  Now, because I dared to accuse the EPA of
these attributes, a government leader is threatening to have me arrested!  Perhaps I can secure a meeting with someone
in power; evidently strong language is the only way to get their attention.
So far, around a dozen members of this List have requested
the link to my petition (thank you!), out of six thousand.  A thousand signatures would be better.  Apathy and complacency just will not
suffice.  Please help!
Dean Jacobson, Ph.D

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