[Coral-List] What agency should list corals under the Endangered species act?

Griffin, Dale dgriffin at usgs.gov
Thu Mar 28 09:10:25 EDT 2013

Why haven't these types of studies been undertaken? Many pesticides are
known immuno-suppresents and their use in the nearshore marine environment
of the Keys may account for observed outbreaks of disease in the reef
community. Immuno-suppresion can account for cases of disease the
historically haven't been observed or only occur in rare instances (like
naturally occuring states of immuno-suppresion that can be related to
injuries, co-infection or aging). Certainly its use negatively effects the
diverse insect community that resides (and has function) in the Keys
mangrove ecosystems...some caddisflies are known to spend part of their
lifecycle in starfish......impact studies are warrented when releasing the
volume of pesticides that are released over the Keys on an annual
basis....Gene has been harping on this point for years and still no funded
studies to my knowledge...............now let me be honest, I was once
staying on the Bay side of Key Largo one summer and you had to dash out of
the house and jump into your hot car to prevent from being overwhelmed by
mosquitos....and spend several minutes sitting there killing the ones that
got into the car with you before you drove off...I remember thinking 'they
aren't spraying enough!!!!!'

"Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects"
                                           Will Rogers

Dale W. Griffin, Ph.D., MSPH
Environmental/Public Health Microbiologist
United States Geological Survey
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Office phone # - 727-803-8747, ext. 3075
USGS Tallahassee main office # - 727-803-8747
Fax # - 727-803-2031
Cell # 850-274-3566
email - dgriffin at usgs.gov

On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM, Martin Moe <martin_moe at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi Gene,
> We could, and should, learn a great deal from bio-assay
> research on the effects of various chemicals, those immediately toxic and
> those
> that are endocrine disruptive, with corals and other coral reef organisms..
> The
> critical research work, however, should be done with reproductive organs,
> gametes,
> and larval forms of these organisms. That’s where the results of very small
> concentrations, ppm, ppb, and even ppt, of sunscreens, anti-fouling
> compounds, pharmaceuticals,
> herbicides, pesticides, petroleum derivatives and the whole plethora of
> chemicals contained in the effluent of our affluent society, and spread to
> all
> ends of our aquatic planet may have the most widespread ecological
> consequences.
> We seldom notice a massive kill of larval and planktonic organisms until
> years
> later when we wonder what happened to all the shrimp, fish, clams, corals,
> and
> lobsters. At this point we don’t know what is in our waters, when it is in
> our
> waters, where it is, at what concentrations, and what detrimental effects
> it
> may have. And we won’t know until research independent of the industries
> that
> produce the chemicals is done to find out. And then this information
> should be put into a perspective
> that is clear and unambiguous to a high school student. Basically all we
> know
> so far is that we have a problem. What are the chances of doing this
> before it
> is too late, or is it already?
> Martin
> ________________________________
>  From: Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:58 PM
> Subject: [Coral-List] What agency should list corals under the Endangered
> species act?
> *What agency should list corals under the Endangered Species Act?*
> Dear Listers,
> Because of a petition from the tax exempt Center for Biodiversity, NOAA
> National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will in all probability list 7
> common Atlantic corals as threatened and upgrade /Acropora/ species to
> endangered.My question is, should the listing be accomplished by an
> agency under the Deparment of Commerce? Is there a conflict of interest?
> Should instead the Department of Interior, e.g., National Park Service
> or Fish and Wildlife, be the official listing agency? Why do I bring
> this up?
> My concern is because any agency under the Department of Commerce that
> also supports research is not likely to ban or regulate products, or
> activities, that may negatively affect commerce and/or economics. For
> example: suppose the "gold standard" 96-hr LD-50 bioassay demonstrated
> that the mosquito pesticides Dibrom, Nalid, and Malathion, commonly
> sprayed in the Florida Keys, is detrimental to corals?
> That finding would present a problem if not an onerous catch-22
> situation because banning these substances could have a huge negative
> effect on the Florida Keys economy, especially the all-important tourist
> economy.Ironically, after all these years of coral reef research, no one
> has yet performed this straightforward bioassay, even though it is well
> known that these pesticides affect marine life as well mosquitoes and
> butterflies. Note that the Department of Interior does not allow
> spraying of these toxic substances in their parks or on park-owned
> property on Key Largo. Such spraying is also not allowed over the
> State-owned Florida Keys Marine Laboratory on Long Key. The toxic
> effects there are well known to marine scientists. I won't bring up the
> endangered Key Largo Wood Rat that is used to curtail commercial
> activities on State lands on North Key Largo .
> But not to worry, if /Acropora/ status is elevated to "endangered," it
> will likely be impossible to conduct those needed bioassays because by
> its very nature the LD-50 test requires the sacrificing of some
> organisms. This bioassay basically determines the level of a substance
> required to kill 50 percent of the organisms in a 96-hr period.. That
> badly long-needed information could then be used to determine if such
> levels are present in marine waters off the Florida Keys, including the
> saline groundwater beneath the keys that ultimately upwells offshore. I
> have to wonder why this simple test has never been done? Since these
> tests have not been attempted after all the years of concern about dying
> corals, it seems unlikely the tests will likely happen while it may
> still be legal to conduct them. Catch-22?
> On the other hand, if the Department of Interior were to be in charge of
> listing (they already have control of corals under their jurisdiction at
> Dry Tortugas National Park, Biscayne National Park, and Everglades
> National Park), there would be no conflict. Because of their philosophy,
> the Park Service is generally not constrained by effects on commerce.
> One might add that similar LD-50 bioassays should be conducted on
> sunscreens. Sunscreens are banned from use by swimmers in coral reef
> marine parks in Mexico. Do the Mexican authorities know something we do
> not?
> One can only imagine other activities that will be affected once these
> new endangered species acts go into effect. One might also wonder why we
> presently have 3 federal and 1 state agency protecting corals?
>   Gene
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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