[Coral-List] Coral Restoration

Peter Raines rainespeter at gmail.com
Thu Apr 17 13:40:52 EDT 2014

Dear all,

A wonderfully succinct, articulate and timely retort from John McManus to
the agonising log-frame 'Killer Assumption' conundrum. I hope John won't
mind if I join the many others who will now no doubt want to quote from it
in the future.

A good example perhaps of an interdisciplinary long-term programme of
research, run on very modest budgets - and often not from traditional
funding systems - is the decades of ongoing pioneering scientific research
that has been inspired and led by Prof. Charles Sheppard in the Chagos
Marine Protected Area (www.chagos-trust.org). I have had the privilege and
very good fortune to visit Chagos twice as Expedition Manager, in 2010 and
2012: hence my 'half-full glass' optimism!

Many thanks.


Peter Raines MBE
Coral Restoration Foundation International


Email: rainespeter at gmail.com
Mobile: +44 (0)7597 664987
Skype: peter.raines

On 17 April 2014 17:46, John McManus <jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu> wrote:

> Hi Peter,
> Thank you for bringing up this problem of giving up on coral reefs in the
> midst of multiple stessors. Major funding agencies are often evaluating
> whether or not to continue funding coral reef management and
> management-related research. Here are some things to consider.
> 1. The huge limestone structures that are the actual coral reefs (atolls,
> barrier reefs, large fringing reefs, knoll reefs, ribbon reefs, etc.) are
> going to be with us for thousands of years. After all, many survived tens
> of
> thousands of years of exposure to rain and acidic tropical soils while
> sea-level was much lower prior to the end of the last ice age. Many atolls
> are actually large mountains of limestone.  Most of those currently within
> the upper 30 m depth will still support abundant life for many hundreds of
> years.
>  2. We really don't know which reefs, if any, that currently protect
> coastlines from waves will continue to do so effectively and for how long.
> This is because that particular ecosystem service is highly dependent on
> the
> upper few meters of limestone. The complex biological, socioeconomic,
> geological and hydrodynamic issues with that are far from being effectively
> worked out-- partly due to the fact that most funding systems cannot seem
> to
> fund the truly interdisciplinary research one would need to put that
> information together (e.g. ecologists, physiologists, reef geologists,
> geochemists, hydrodynamicists, social scientists, computer scientists, etc.
> all working together on selected sites).
> 3.  Excellent recent studies by Anthony, Kleypas, and others have confirmed
> that the calcium carbonate deposition balance on reefs is tightly related
> to
> living coral vs. algal dominance. Seawater flowing over dense algal beds
> tends to be more acidic than that flowing over coral or calcareous sand.
> Additionally, there is a need to protect whatever calcifying species
> survive
> best in the future. Thus, protecting the wave erosion buffering effect is
> now more clearly related to classical participatory integrated coastal
> management than ever before.
> 4. There has been substantial progress in understanding broadly which
> general groups of corals, forams, calcareous algae, etc. are likely to be
> impacted most under which climate change scenarios. We are still a long way
> away from being able to relate those habitat changes to the availability of
> fish. Additionally, while a few studies have indicated that fish
> populations
> may be directly impacted through warming and acidification (especially
> larvae), knowledge in that area is also extremely sparse.
> 5. Rocky reefs in areas devoid of corals, such as in temperate areas, often
> support large assemblages of fish and diverse, three-dimensionally complex
> seaweed communities.  Thus, regardless of what happens to the corals, it is
> reasonable to assume that those reef limestone structures are going to
> remain at least as important as sources of livelihoods and food from
> fisheries and tourism hundreds of years from now as they are today.
> We clearly need to step up coastal management efforts in coral reef areas.
> Funding agencies need to put more emphasis on reef management and
> supportive
> science than before -- not less.
> Cheers!
> John
> John W. McManus, PhD
> Director, National Center for Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
> Professor, Marine Biology and Fisheries
> Coral Reef Ecology and Management Lab (CREM Lab)
> Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)
> University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, 33149
> jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu      http://ncore.rsmas.miami.edu/
> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_McManus/
> "If you lose a diamond ring in the bedroom, don't look for it in the living
> room just because the light there is better".
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Peter Raines
> Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2014 4:05 PM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Coral Restoration
> I congratulate Sarah, Peter and countless other friends and colleagues who
> each and all are doing their valued bit to help understand, promote and
> protect coral reefs.
> I recently attended a one-day workshop in London on Logical Frameworks.
> Many will know that these are the arch-stone and requisite for many
> funders.
> The context was LIFE+ funding from the European union, of which there are
> many hundreds of $millions on offer.
> The far-right column of most 'logframes' is entitled 'Assumptions'. These
> are usually assumptions outside of the control of the project/programme but
> nonetheless need to be factored. Some of these assumptions are termed
> 'Killer Assumptions' - i.e. assumptions so severe that they will kill the
> project stone-dead in its tracks and thus either require a fundamental
> project/programme re-think or most likely, just give up, go home and not
> bother.
> So, I asked of the workshop convener during a coffee-break this: "Assuming
> the predicted global trends are correct re. ocean acidification and the
> like, then these surely are the 'Killer Assumptions' that should be
> paramount and overarchingly declared in any Logframe. Should I pack my bags
> up and go home now?"  He politely smiled, nodded but of course could not
> answer.
> So, the killer-question I ask myself is: "Should I give up any and all hope
> for coral reefs and just throw in the towel?" My glass always being
> half-full, my answer is a resounding "NO!".
> I say good luck to Sarah, Peter and everyone in their mission, drive and
> energy to help protect and restore coral reefs. What we need is a coalition
> of the willing to kill assumptions!
> All the best,
> Pete
> Peter Raines MBE
> Director
> Coral Restoration Foundation International
> www.coralrestoration.org
> Email: rainespeter at gmail.com
> Mobile: +44 (0)7597 664987
> Skype: peter.raines
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