[Coral-List] FW: Coral killing continues in Florida

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 11 00:50:00 EDT 2015


That was an interesting reaction to my email. 
You launch on
a personal attack for no reason. We’ve never met in person. I have nothing
against you. 
Perhaps the limitations of the email, without eye to eye contact
and without the ability to read body language, render a message more aggressive
than it really is. I want to think this is the case. Because the alternative
would require you to apologize. That’s what a gentleman would do.

So we can solve this as two intelligent people would do. Let’s agree to meet one day and go scuba diving to see
the corals. Or the groupers. You tell me your point of view, and I’ll tell you
mine. Agreed?

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Twitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http://grouperluna.wordpress.comhttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Date: Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 6:07 AM
Subject: [Coral-List] Coral killing continues in Florida
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Sarah, Your rant re, "killing hundreds of acres of endangered

corals"---- the Corps of Engineers, "bulldozing crusade," "Port of Miami

disaster," and "nightmare" may be a little over stated. That kind of

language may create some excitement with some but is not likely to get

you anywhere with the agencies involved. Good scientists should not rant

that way or misidentify Golith Grouper poop for reproductive fluid as

you did on the list last year. Did you apologize to readers for that


My former office on Fisher Island overlooked the dredging area in

question for 15 years. I know it well and although there were some

corals there it is a stretch to consider it a coral reef. That limestone

area had been essentially devoid of reef-building corals for millennia.

The few corals that were there were only the hardiest, weediest species.

In fact we could not grow corals in the water from government cut that

we collected there at high tide for experiments. Admittedly, that was

before the Virginia Key sewage outfall was moved further offshore. I am

aware that a large amount of money was spent moving corals and on

monitoring the effects of the dredging spoil on the few live corals

found there today (coral cover off Miami-Dade County is routinely

measured at a half percent or less by SECREMP). Some divers have

photographed sediment accumulations on corals near the dredge area but

were not aware the sediment was on corals already dead. The greatest

threat was the regional 2014 bleaching event followed by regional white

plague disease that ranged from Monroe to Palm Beach County well outside

the dredging area (and is still ongoing). The scientists doing the work

of course cannot discuss the results of the required monitoring studies

at the present time because of ongoing lawsuits. I suspect that at

sometime in the future many interesting publications and reports will

become available for more critical review. I can appreciate the feeling

of the many who have seen the unavoidable plumes that result from any

dredging but it is something that none of us can stop. The danger is

that strong contestable language now may backfire and create deleterious

effects on the credibility of coral scientists in the future. A year

from now the area in question will likely look no different than nearby

areas not touched by this dredging.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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