[Coral-List] Majuro video

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Mon Jan 7 13:36:36 EST 2013

Hi Dennis:

President Clinton signed back in 1998 a Presidential Executive order protecting coral reefs.  This Exec Order requires every federal agency to self-examine and reduce any damage to corals for everything they do that could potentially affect coral reef condition. A committee named the US Coral Reef Task Force was established and consisted of the heads of all of the Executive Branch departments (or their designates)and other Federal Agency heads. This includes the FAA. It was initially chaired I believe by Sec. of Interior Bruce Babbitt, a committed environmentalist. I attended several of the early Coral Reef Task Force meetings, and it really seemed that there was some serious dialogue going on.    I recall discussions with high up US Navy and other military folks about their impacts on coral reefs (e.g. practice bombing in Vieques), and lots of fisheries regulation discussions.  I have not been to these meetings for a while now, but see postings that they are still happening.  Unless Presidential Orders expire, that Task Force should still be in force and in fact, has the responsibility to decide whether the FAA is authorized to cause major coral destruction for a greater (national security) good.  Does anyone know if the US Coral Reef Task Force officially sanctioned this dredging?  Is there circumvention of an official US policy going on?


Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Professor of Marine Biology
Center for Marine Science and Dept of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409 USA
tel:  910-962-2362  fax: 910-962-2410  cell: 910-200-3913

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Dennis Hubbard
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2013 11:07 AM
To: Dean Jacobson
Cc: coral list
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Majuro video

I just had a chance to look at Dean's Majuro video, which is both encouraging and sickening.

It is indeed heartening to see that these kinds of stands exist given the convincing "top down" papers that suggest warming and acidification will affect even remote sites...... and that our site-specific efforts might be naive.

At the same time, I find it discouraging that we can spend so much time as "experts" wondering why the public doesn't get all the things we are so "smart" in "knowing". How effective can we hope to be when we spend as much time as we have on whether or not listing specific corals is appropriate while remaining largely voiceless about agencies that can apparently let this kind of resource be sacrificed for an airport that will probably be underwater by century's end? While our "free association" with the Marshall Islands is a flakey relationship, the last time I checked the FAA was still run by the US. Is thee a way as a collective body of concerned international citizens we can take this somewhere? Yes, I signed Dean's petition.


On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 3:01 AM, Dean Jacobson <atolldino at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have posted a new GoPro video of the coral dredging at:
> http://youtu.be/obyOO6Vj-wo
> Its only 16 min, but if you want to jump ahead to the borrow pit, go 
> to 12:00.  You can hear me coughing on SCUBA (I recently had a cold, 
> so much for my "stealth" approach to the dredge site!).  Hope you like 
> it!  (My lousy MS editing program would not do HD, the original is 
> very sharp) Suggested responses and instructions offered with the video.
> So, yes the dredging continues, and now PII is applying for a permit 
> to continue mining this entire 500m reef for profit, after they have 
> all the fill they are contracted to provide for the FAA RSA project 
> (which they almost have already, without mining much of the site).  
> The camel's nose got under the tent, and there may be no stopping it.
> I think the video speaks for itself.  Where is the USCRTF when you need it?
> Cheers,
> Dean
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Dennis Hubbard
Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-8346

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*  Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"
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