[Coral-List] political arguments on coral-list

Michael Risk riskmj at mcmaster.ca
Thu May 22 10:48:31 EDT 2014

> Billy:
> When Gene started working in Florida, coral cover was about 45%. It is
> now less than 4%.
> It is obvious that "management" is failing. Instead of railing against
> Gene, you might give some thought as to the points he makes. Citing the
> complexity of the system is management-speak for, "we have no idea what
> we are doing."
> Mike
On May 20, 2014, at 7:03 PM, Billy Causey - NOAA Federal <billy.causey at noaa.gov> wrote:

> Gene,
> Please don 't pretend you know what Sanctuary management is about.
> You are way off the mark and have no idea of the complexity in
> managing 2900 sq nautical miles (9800 sq k) of some of the nation 's
> most significant and heavily- used marine resources with about 28
> different jurisdictions.
> The solutions and answers are no where close to as simple as you imply.
> When is sailing off into the sunset on your agenda?
> Billy
> Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
> Southeast Regional Director
> NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
> 33 East Quay Road
> Key West, Florida 33040
> Phone:
> 305 809 4670 office
> 305 395 0150 mobile
> 305 293 5011 fax
> Email:
> billy.causey at noaa.gov
>> On May 20, 2014, at 6:02 PM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu> wrote:
>> Thank you Chris and Daphne. Yes it is a contact sport but one we have
>> all  created. I well remember when the coral-list began. It was for
>> scientists trading technical information...then it began to change and
>> it started to bother some that so much space was used advertising reef
>> management jobs and the like.  When climate and acidification became an
>> issue things became even more political and complicated. I might mention
>> here that global warming came after the 1970s when Steve Schneider was
>> predicting we were headed into another ice age. The problem I constantly
>> worry about is that NOAA, which claims to be a
>> technical/science-oriented agency, sponsors the coral-list. At the same
>> time the Coral reef Sanctuaries are part of NOAA and they are mainly
>> about management/enforcement. Both are under the dept. of Commerce so
>> that adds another level of restraints and unintended consequences. What
>> if science uncovers a problem, for example that aerial spraying of
>> mosquito pesticides is harming the reef, would that activity is made
>> illegal? Not likely because it would drastically affect the
>> Economy/Commerce of the Florida Keys. Another example would be
>> sunscreen, which some published research suggest causes coral bleaching.
>> (The stuff is banned in Mexican coral reef parks) If NOAA/dept. of
>> Commerce banned sunscreen in the Keys might they be accused of promoting
>> more skin cancers? The tourism/economy would certainly be affected. We
>> can't have that. There are many such examples because the economy of the
>> keys is greatly dependent on natural resources such as the
>> fishing/lobster industry. Again the same political problem! The
>> Sanctuary controls those activities by enforcing rules set up by another
>> NOAA agency, National Marine Fisheries. And right next door is
>> Everglades National Park, which is the dept. of Interior with a very
>> different philosophy. Mosquito spraying is not allowed on their property
>> and they have their own fishery rules/regulations and enforcement
>> officers.  And lets not forget Fish and Wildlife Service, yet another
>> part of the dept. of Interior. And of course there are the State Parks
>> such as Pennekamp. See what a convoluted political situation we have! We
>> just do it to ourselves. Does anyone really expect all these diverse
>> parts of government to operate seamlessly especially at their
>> headquarters back in Washington DC where each is constantly trying to
>> increase its funding and influence?  It's clear we can't take politics
>> out of coral reef science and research. A friend of mine used to say the
>> definition of mixed emotions is when your mother in law drives your new
>> Cadillac over a cliff. We certainly seem to have created a lot of mixed
>> emotions to deal with. 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
>> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
>> Tel 727 553-1158
>> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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Michael Risk
riskmj at mcmaster.ca

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