[Coral-List] political arguments on coral-list

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Fri May 23 09:20:10 EDT 2014


    If you're referring to my comment, "I mean, some might say that
professing that most of coral reefs' ills can be traced to African dust
is a bit odd, but we let that one out of the bag, too," that wasn't a
jab at Gene, that was a statement meant to show I try to moderate with
an even hand.  In fact, I didn't mention his name, and I have over the
years come to believe African Dust IS important as one of many stressors
contributing to coral reef decline. 

    Anyway, Gene, if you took offense, my apologies.


On 5/23/14, 7:56 AM, Griffin, Dale wrote:
> Bill.......how can you drop Gene's name followed by a list of stressors to
> the Florida Keys reef tract that doesn't include 'African dust'..  :)
> .....now I understand that there are still 'dust' skeptics per the recent
> jab at Gene by NOAA folks but if one doesn't think desert dust deposition
> in our surface water plays no influential role, whether it be the affects
> of fertilization, toxicity or microorganisms....then one does not have a
> very good grasp of 'the big picture'  ......Dale
> "Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects"
>                                            Will Rogers
> Dale W. Griffin, Ph.D., MSPH
> Environmental/Public Health Microbiologist
> United States Geological Survey
> 600 4th Street South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> Office # - 727-502-8075
> Fax # - 727-502-8001
> Cell # 850-274-3566
> email - dgriffin at usgs.gov
> email - dale.w.griffin at gmail.com
> <http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dale_Griffin/>
> On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM, William Precht <william.precht at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I was going to stay out this mess because it was getting personal.
>> Two of my very close friends, colleagues, and mentors, Billy Causey and
>> Gene Shinn, are taking shots at each other.  This is painful to watch,
>> especially in a public forum.
>> However, for Mike Risk to come along and blame Billy (i.e. managers of the
>> FKNMS) for coral loss over the last few decades is both scientifically
>> unfounded and wrongheaded.  Data from throughout the Caribbean and the
>> Florida Keys indicate that no form of local stewardship or management could
>> have protected these coral populations (especially the loss of *Acropora
>> palmata* and *A. cervicornis*) from their major sources of mortality or
>> changed the overall trajectory of coral loss during the past few decades.
>> Specifically in Florida, winter cold fronts, hurricanes, numerous coral
>> bleaching events, and coral and urchin diseases are stressors with known
>> cause-and-effect relationships at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
>> I encourage folks on the Coral List interested in the scientific merits of
>> this argument to read the following manuscripts:
>> Precht, W.F. and S.L. Miller. 2007. Ecological Shifts along the Florida
>> Reef Tract: The Past as a Key to the Future. In: Geological Approaches to
>> Coral Reef Ecology. R. B. Aronson (Editor). Chapter 9: 237-312.  Springer,
>> NY.
>> Lirman, D., Schopmeyer, S., Manzello, D., Gramer, L. J., Precht, W. F.,
>> Muller-Karger, F., ... & Thanner, S. (2011). Severe 2010 cold-water event
>> caused unprecedented mortality to corals of the Florida Reef Tract and
>> reversed previous survivorship patterns. *PLoS one*, *6*(8), e23047.
>> Burman, S. G., Aronson, R. B., & van Woesik, R. (2012). Biotic
>> homogenization of coral assemblages along the Florida reef tract. *Marine
>> Ecology Progress Series*, *467*, 89.
>> Toth, L. T., van Woesik, R., Murdoch, T. J. T., Smith, S. R., Ogden, J. C..,
>> Precht, W. F., & Aronson, R. B. (2014). Do no-take reserves benefit
>> Florida’s corals? 14 years of change and stasis in the Florida Keys
>> National Marine Sanctuary. *Coral Reefs*, 1-13.
>> Let's stick to the science!
>> Bill Precht
>> On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM, Michael Risk <riskmj at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
>>>> 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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>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
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>>> Michael Risk
>>> riskmj at mcmaster.ca
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