[Coral-List] Majuro situation

Nicole Crane nicrane at cabrillo.edu
Mon Mar 24 11:55:21 EDT 2014

I will 'extrospect' here....nothing is that simple.  Is there really 
such a thing as 'dead' rock?  There has never been an example (anyone 
have one?) of a development project like this not having a negative 
environmental effect.  I grew up in the world of international 
development (small scale, remote locations etc.), and have seen many 
many projects like this.  Environmental effects, cultural impacts, and 
development opportunities all need to be weighed before determining if 
it is a 'good project'.  Lets please be mindful that 'good' is a very 
subjective term, and means very different things to different people, or 
the environment.  For example, removal and replacement of material is 
only one issue.  The movement of that material, and the change in small 
scale water movement (and sand etc.) dynamics can have large 
consequences in the future.  Nothing, really nothing, is that simple.  
Doesn't mean we need to stop all projects, but let's please be honest, 
and recognize that we all have a lens through which we view impact.  And 
it is not objective.


On 3/24/14, 7:31 AM, Douglas Fenner wrote:
>  From my memory of Dean's posts, this project isn't actually extending
> the airport runway.  More importantly, there is no need to stop the
> project, the readily available alternative is just to take the
> material needed from areas of the lagoon that have little or no live
> coral.  My memory is that Dean said there is lots of area of suitable
> fill without coral on it, readily available.  Because those are a
> little farther away, it would presumably cost the company a little
> more.  No need or desire to stop the project, it is a good project,
> just take dead rock instead of live coral.  But that would cost a
> little more.
>      Cheers,  Doug
> On 3/23/14, Gregor Hodgson <gregorh at reefcheck.org> wrote:
>> There are numerous examples throughout the world of stopping development
>> projects in foreign countries if sufficient noise is raised either locally
>> or internationally. A recent one is the Spanish plan to develop a major
>> resort near Cabo Pulmo in Baja California. If US funding is involved, it is
>> usually easier to shine light on the situation and stop it if indeed proper
>> procedures have not been followed. Sometimes, just delaying the project is
>> enough to kill it. NRDC is an organization that specializes in court cases
>> designed to stop environmental disasters. What helps is a campaign ‹ either
>> locally or internationally or both. Before this happens, it is important to
>> review what actually happened. The FAA administrator refers to documents
>> that should be reviewed to determine what environmental work has been done.
>> The first step would be to ask him to make these documents available to
>> NOAA, Army Corps and US Dept of State for review. There are now many
>> threatened and endangered species on coral reefs. If US funds are being
>> used
>> to damage endangered species outside of US waters whose larvae could be
>> important for the survival of the species in the US, such actions are
>> probably illegal and in any case should be reviewed by US CRTF, NOAA, US
>> Dept of State and congressmen interested in this region. There are many US
>> government procedures that could be used to slow or halt this work
>> immediately. If indeed procedures have not been followed, or damage is
>> avoidable, NRDC could also sue companies involved to stop the development..
>> I don't know anything about this other than what was reported here. But it
>> is important to keep in mind that as much as we like corals, we can't stop
>> all development and even with a thorough impact assessment,  if  It comes
>> to
>> a trade off between e.g. making a safer airport  vs killing some corals,
>> the
>> corals are usually going to lose. The goal becomes minimizing/mitigating
>> impacts.
>> Gregor Hodgson, PhD
>> Executive Director
>> Reef Check Foundation
>> PO Box 1057 (mail)
>> 17575 Pacific Coast Highway (overnight)
>> Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 USA
>> T: +1 310-230-2371 or 2360
>> Gregorh at reefcheck.org
>> Skype: gregorh001
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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Nicole L. Crane
Cabrillo College
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
nicrane at cabrillo.edu

Oceanic Society
Senior Conservation Scientist

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