[Coral-List] Bring back the Gulf

mtupper mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Sun Aug 24 04:15:32 EDT 2014

Hi Gene, Steve, and Listers,

Gene said:

> 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 corollary is that lighthouses are also needed to protect coral reefs from
ships and cargo.

GPS is not foolproof and there are hundreds of small vessel groundings every
year in the Keys, in addition to occasional large vessel groundings. If not for
the lighthouses warning vessels away from those shallow reefs, the damage to the
reefs would likely have been far greater than that caused by the lighthouse


Dr. Mark Tupper
Coastal Resources Association
2503-13618 100 Ave., Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 0A8
Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Tel. +1-778-903-6420

> On August 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 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
> >---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
> >
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