[Coral-List] reef fight

John Hocevar jhocevar at greenpeace.org
Wed Apr 6 08:50:17 EDT 2016

Hi All,

Many thanks for all the helpful replies to my call for examples of 
communities fighting to protect their reef. The good news is that there 
are a lot of communities pushing back against mining, logging, dredging, 
illegal fishing, and poorly planned luxury development projects. The bad 
news, of course, is that there are a lot of reefs at immediate risk from 
these plans, even as reefs across the Southern Hemisphere are in the 
midst of a devastating mass bleaching incident.

As Bob, Johnny and Dennis pointed out, not all development is bad, and 
many developers and regulatory agencies share our concerns about 
environmental impacts and are willing to work with local communities and 
scientists. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as indicated by 
the examples you shared from the US, Australia, Indonesia, Cayman 
Islands, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Belize, Guam and Mexico, to name a few.

Other suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks again,

John Hocevar
Oceans Campaign Director
Greenpeace USA

On 4/6/2016 9:43 AM, Dennis Hubbard wrote:
> I think that Bob has good points. As a consultant, I often found 
> developers to be more open to my opinions about setbacks and such than 
> government agencies.... especially in foreign island nations. In the 
> BVI, I worked with a foreign property owner who agreed that not having 
> his front units only 25 ft from the beach; he agreed that 100 ft was 
> wiser. When we went into the appropriate minister, the response was 
> essentially, "we can't afford to lose the units closer to the beach" 
> (a sad comment as nature ultimately took them away despite the 
> Minister's protestations).
> Having said this, we had a particular consultant that Bob Dill used to 
> fondly refer to as the "biostitute" who had a "sign the check and tell 
> me what you want the report to say" policy. This gave that individual 
> a huge advantage over those of us who preferred to base our 
> suggestions on facts and show the developer how working wisely was 
> actually cheaper in the long run. In the end, I made most of my money 
> trying to "fix" problems created by my "esteemed colleague", so I 
> suppose that I should not be so harsh in hindsight.
> Best,
> Dennis
> On Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 2:58 PM, Robert Bourke <rbourke at oceanit.com 
> <mailto:rbourke at oceanit.com>> wrote:
>     John;
>        Over the past 25 years, I have taken a slightly different
>     approach to ameliorate the impact of coastal development upon
>     nearshore reefs, and it seems to have worked fairly well.  Most
>     developers are not really evil people and would prefer not to
>     decimate the coastal resources upon which their marketing staff
>     has based much of their promotional material.  They just don't
>     understand the ramifications of their development upon the
>     environment, nor do they know how to do it right.
>     Rather than try to "prevent" the coastal development from
>     occurring, perhaps you could either work with the developer (or
>     make sure the developer chooses good consultants) to ensure that
>     low impact development methods are used.  We can all easily point
>     to developments that have had large adverse impacts upon coastal
>     resources.  It requires a good deal more effort to point out those
>     that have been designed to work within their environment and then
>     translate these positive attributes to new coastal development
>     schemes.
>     Aloha
>     Bob Bourke
>     Oceanit
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: John Hocevar
>     Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016
>     Hi -
>     I have been on this list for many years, and have followed the
>     discussions about what we as a community can do to prevent the
>     loss of coral reefs.
>     Today, I am looking for your help in identifying reefs that are
>     currently threatened by major development projects (eg resorts,
>     ports, or golf courses). Ideally, I'm looking for cases where
>     there is a local community trying to protect their reef from a
>     large developer. Bringing more support and attention to that kind
>     of battle would be a powerful story that we could turn into a
>     local victory as well as a much bigger story about the urgent need
>     to protect reefs in general.
>     Please feel free to reply directly rather than to the full list.
>     John Hocevar
>     Oceans Campaign Director
>     Greenpeace USA
>     jhocevar at greenpeace.org <mailto:jhocevar at greenpeace.org>
>     (202) 319-2408 <tel:%28202%29%20319-2408>

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