[Coral-List] Bring back the Gulf

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 23 12:06:39 EDT 2014

   Come on Gene, talk about false equivalency. Are you really attempting to
   compare the potential hazards and environmental impacts of a handful of old
   lighthouses to the thousands of offshore oil rigs scattered throughout the
   GOM? One would have to be more than flawed and half-baked to buy into that
   line of reasoning.

     -----Original Message-----
     >From: Eugene Shinn
     >Sent: Aug 22, 2014 5:35 PM
     >To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
     >Subject: [Coral-List] Bring back the Gulf
     >Before attending an offshore drilling debate/hearing in Key West over
     >30 years ago I to took my friend (Dr. Jim Ray) diving at Looe Key reef.
     >On the way out Jim pointed to the distance and said, "what is that." I
     >replied that it was American Shoal lighthouse. He replied, "I didn't
     >think you had any drill rigs down here." His comment struck a nerve,
     >especially later that evening when a lady testifying against offshore
     >drilling proudly announced that her grandfather was in charge of
     >constructing the iron lighthouses on Florida reefs. When Jim testified
     >in favor of offshore drilling he was of course roundly booed and hissed.
     >Later I read about how lighthouses are constructed and also a report
     >about the need for lighthouses to protect ships and cargoes from coral
     >reefs.The later report also stimulated the beginning of coral reef
     >research. The author was geologist Alexander Agassiz reporting his
     >observations to the head of the lighthouse service.
     > I read how reef lighthouses were constructed and that it required
     >scarifying and flattening the reef to allow access of large barges and
     >heavy equipment needed to drive iron lighthouse legs into the reef.
     >After reading this material I concluded we are fortunate that
     >installation of offshore oil rigs in the muddy Gulf of Mexico bottom is
     >far less damaging than installation of a lighthouse on a coral reef. In
     >retrospect it seems ironic that oil rigs are considered ugly and
     >damaging to the environment while rusty lighthouses are seen as cultural
     >icons. If we really need to remove iron from the ocean why not remove
     >these antiquated iron lighthouses from the relatively more sensitive
     >coral reef environments? GPS has made them obsolete and most in the Keys
     >are no longer functioning. They are being replaced with smaller
     >automatic light towers. Should we not remove all that rusty idle iron
     >along with the tons of old batteries and other junk that litters the
     >surrounding area? If one thinks rig removal will bring back the Gulf
     >then maybe lighthouse removal will bring back the coral reefs? Or is
     >that just being too logical. Maybe Jimmy Buffet's Fruit Cakes Song said
     >it all. "We are flawed individuals, The cosmic baker took us out of the
     >oven too soon." 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
     >Tel 727 553-1158
     >---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
     >Coral-List mailing list
     >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list