[Coral-List] The Saga of Dean Jacobson and Majuro Coral Mining

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Fri Mar 14 10:50:23 EDT 2014


    I don't usually do this [read: approximately never], but I've edited
(removed a name) from within this message from Dean Jacobson (because of
liability issues) and am forwarding it on to Coral-List; because as you
will see, his computer is probably in a container on its way to the
mainland and he can't edit the original message himself. 

    This is one of the most unbelievable sagas of a person trying to do
the right thing against all odds for the benefit of a coral reef area I
think I've ever heard of.  This is one persistent fellow.  Perhaps he
proceeded incorrectly or against local tradition, but perhaps not.  The
fact appears to remain that the beautiful reefs depicted in his Youtube
video are about to be destroyed.  As if the locals didn't have enough
problems (see the video), destroying the reef will probably also
compromise shoreline protection and destroy habitat for the local
fishers.  At any rate, this looks to be a sad end to Dean's on-island
plight, and let's hope his tenure on the island was not all for naught. 
He mentions a petition in the video, but maybe more can be done.  I hope so.


On 3/12/14, 6:09 PM, coral-list-owner at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
> Subject:
> Majuro coral mining
> From:
> Dean Jacobson <atolldino at yahoo.com>
> Date:
> 3/12/14, 6:08 PM
> To:
> "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> This update may seen too weird to be true, but trust me!  After trying
> for more than a year to gain an audience with the RMI EPA Board of
> Directors (who approved the ongoing US FAA-funded mining of the
> reservoir lagoon reef without any environmental assessment, even
> refusing to view my underwater photos), and being very polite and
> friendly with the EPA manager Lowell Alik, who was beginning to show
> some interest in visiting the still-intact "blue and gold reef" where
> yellow branched Porites and violet Pocillopora (blue at a distance)
> are interspersed, to great effect, I paid Lowell a recent visit.  He
> had been off island a lot, I had trouble finding him.  He asked (many
> months after our last talk) "when are we going to do the site visit?"
> but the conditions were impossible, due to the waves and the nearby
> dredging operation (visibility was near zero).  It triggered my pent
> up frustration, and I complained bitterly to him about the corruption
> of the entire permitting process.  A week later, I was arrested by 7
> policeman, manhandled and handcuffed, and thrown into jail, for
> "drunken disturbing the peace" (with drunken crossed out).  24 hours
> later I was released (after a very unpleasant, hot night trying to
> sleep on a hard board, being bitten by fire ants) and I was instantly
> terminated from my teaching contract, with no one to take over my two
> classes!  A week or two later, an unpredicted wave surge flooded parts
> of Majuro, damaging many homes, and I was able to document this on
> Gopro.  I made a video, linking coral destruction and increased risk
> of coastal flooding.  
> www.*youtube*.com/watch?v=ol5RKZwfKdI
> So, I made plans to move back to the mainland, unemployed, and my
> container is being loaded on a ship today.  Then I find this week that
> I am being arraigned, prosecuted for "criminal trespass" by the
> Attorney General's office for a snorkel survey I did in August 2012!
>  This is clearly the work of [name removed] of PII, who is dredging
> the reef, unconstrained by regulation.  I suggest you may want to take
> action I suggest in the video, and also email PII.  I really could use
> your support! 
> Thanks!      Dean Jacobson, Ph.D.
> inquiry at piimajuro.com

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