[Coral-List] RIP Ricky Grigg 1937 - 2014

Dean Jacobson atolldino at yahoo.com
Tue May 27 16:20:56 EDT 2014

I read Ricky's autobiography this year while on a dive survey on Namdrik atoll (Marshall Islands), it was captivating (I had never heard of him!).  What a splendid human.  We both grew up near Santa Monica.  His observation of coral thriving on a sewage outfall pipe is certainly at odds (in part) with my findings on Majuro, where there is a close correlation between sources of sewage (septic systems along the shore) and coral disease.  The effects on Majuro reefs are nothing short of devastating, to vulnerable taxa (Isopora and most massives), but the more  tolerant Acropora spp, one speces of Montipora, and, of course, Porites rus, are indeed thriving near the Majuro outfall.

Dean Jacobson

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014 4:38 AM, "Delbeek, Charles" <CDelbeek at calacademy.org> wrote:

Thanks Gregor, I had the unique experience of diving with Ricky once many years ago off west Oahu, we in wetsuits he in his t-shirt and jean shorts. He was definitely one of the "old school" pioneers and his perspective will be sorely missed.

Best regards and condolences to Ricky's family.


J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium
California Academy of Sciences

Desk: 415.379.5303
Cell: 415.859.0420
Fax: 415.379.5304

cdelbeek at calacademy.org

55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA 94118

Explore a coral reef, the Amazon and outer space—all in one day. Only at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of Gregor Hodgson [gregorh at reefcheck.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:58 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] RIP Ricky Grigg 1937 - 2014

We lost Ricky yesterday. Ricky lived life on the edge from beginning to end
and enjoyed every minute. His brilliance as a scientist was sometimes
overshadowed by his history as one of the first to surf Waimea, his film
career, his work as a black coral diver, and his occasional use of the
1950's surfer term "cowabunga." But his scientific contributions including
Science cover publications, and tenure as Coral Reefs Editor were major
additions to coral reef science. Most listers are probably familiar with
his pubs, and how he did the science to try to create the first sustainable
black coral fishery. As a former student and friend, I'd like to mention a
couple other points.

He was a wonderful teacher and mentor because he was very frank -- and was
willing to take the time to explain in detail how he viewed an issue. Rick
had a knack for quickly juggling lots of facts and bringing them together
in a coherent package. He regularly infuriated environmentalists because of
his views on how hardy corals are -- using photos of corals growing on the
end of sewage pipes to make his point.

Rick was an incredible athlete --  he grew up next to Santa Monica pier,
was a life guard, and won the 1955 Catalina to Manhatten Beach paddle race
--- 34 miles -- no wetsuits back then. He used to practice by paddling from
Santa Monica Pier to Topanga point (where my office is) every morning --
about 8 km each way. When I asked him recently how he did this without wet
suits he replied, "Cold was not a problem with all that sweating. Try it
sometime." People who are not surfers may not appreciate how incredible it
was that he surfed big (as in 20 foot) waves on the north shore of Oahu
into his 60s -- and often was out on the biggest, craziest days, when many
young guys in their 20s are scared to go out.

In this day of narrow niches, Ricky crossed over from oceanography to
geology to coral ecology and physiology. He loved to share his knowledge to
the end as shown by his last book -- *In the beginning*, *Archipelago, the
origin and discovery of the Hawaiian Islands -- 2012. *Ricky was a true
"waterman," a great friend, and he will be missed.

Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Executive Director, Reef Check
PO Box 1057, Pacific Palisades CA USA
Tel: +310-230-2371
Skype: gregorh001
Email: gregorh at reefcheck.org
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