[Coral-List] Why we are failing to repair coral reefs?

Alevizon, William Stephen alevizonws at cofc.edu
Wed Oct 22 11:20:53 EDT 2014

I hate to be a pessimist here, but if most of the world’s humans cannot be convinced that we are causing serious and ever-increasing problems with the air we breathe, our water supply, and our food supply – why would we ever think that the demise of coral reefs would be sufficient cause for most people to suddenly decide to limit the size of their families or change their mindsets such that a never-ending quest for “more” was no longer their primary driver?

I don’t beat up on reef scientists for failing to prevent the demise or recovery of coral reefs. Heck, our efforts to really study reefs by direct underwater observation has only become relatively widespread since the early 80s, and much of the earliest work was spent just developing methodologies..

Does anyone here really believe that had some alien race removed all humans from the planet in 1979, coral cover would now still be in the 50 percent plus range in most places?  In retrospect I think it was already too late when we started. To use a sports analogy, the game was over before most of the team arrived.

I quit worrying about it long ago as I saw how efforts to protect the reefs of the Florida Keys and Bahamas were continually scuttled by politicians and self-serving greed. Now I just remind myself to be thankful I had the chance to see these marvelous ecosystems and animal populations in a relatively healthy condition.

Have a nice day!


William S. Alevizon

Research Associate

Dept. of Biology

College of Charleston

58 Coming St.

Charleston,  S.C. 29424


More information about the Coral-List mailing list