[Coral-List] Coral killing continues in Florida

Bill Raymond billraymond10 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 11 10:47:05 EDT 2015

I dunno, that's a tough one. I see your point about what's appropriate and professional and going too far. On the other hand, Gene's right, over emphasizing and exaggerating the true picture only serves to weaken our case, and is so idiotically ignorant and dangerous perhaps it should be addressed publicly. Gene is probably the top coral reef scientist without Alzheimers in the world today. He makes a valid point that should be heard, even if it is rude and blunt.  

     On Friday, September 11, 2015 10:23 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

Gene, Good scientists should not communicate in a way that would appear to demean or humiliate a fellow scientist . . especially in a public, peer-surveyed forum. Challenge all you want, but don't lose sight of what constitutes proper decorum and civility. You and I and many others have expressed differences before, but never with such a noticeable and personal level of vitriol. I know you are not likely to take any advice from me, but before I respond on list to any provocation I take a couple of deep breaths which usually results in some measure of editorial restraint. That has helped me avoid airing out musings that likely would have been seen as a mean spirited rant. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 10, 2015, at 1:07 PM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu> wrote:
> 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 
> mistake?
> 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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