[Coral-List] he GBR is in trouble, but not dead

Ed Blume eblume2702 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 22 12:44:23 EDT 2017

"Senile reef" will morph into "zombie reef" - part dead, part alive, and
snagging unsuspecting ships.

Ed Blume
​Moderator, coralfree-freeforall at yahoogroups.com

On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:51 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>

> Ellen Prager points out a significant problem when dealing with the
> press.If you are not careful you can easily get burned by an over
> zealous environmental writer and headline writer. She rightly makes the
> point that headlines for a story are often written by specialist other
> than the writer who wrote the story. The headline is written to grab the
> attention of the reader. Remember they are also in the business of
> selling newspapers and as the reader knows, readership is suffering and
> newspapers are going out of business almost daily. Some years ago I was
> badly burned by some lurid headlines. At that time writers received
> extra cash if the Associated Press picks up their story and passes it on
> to other newspapers.Each paper that picked up my story about the effect
> of sewage nutrients on coral reefs created ever more eye-catching
> headlines. “Sewage killing reefs scientist says.” The results were
> unhappy calls from dive shop owners in the keys whose dive trips were
> being cancelled because clients did not want to dive in poop. It was
> most embarrassing.
> Reef researchers have for years wrestled with how to define reefs.
> Biologists and geologists see reefs differently and the average reader
> can become confused by terms like bioherm, biostrome, or even live rock.
> Remember when that big tanker grounded on “Bligh Reef” in Cook inlet
> Alaska? So-called Bligh reef is simply a submerged mountaintop. It is
> not a reef but the confusion affected people in the Florida Keys who did
> not know the difference. Even sandbars have been called reefs. In fact
> anything that a ship can ground on is often called a reef. It’s just
> maritime lore.
> We discuss this problem in detail in our upcoming book, “Geology of the
> Florida Keys,” coauthored by Barbara Lidz. In the book we invented a
> term for dead or almost dead reefs originally used by Lidz in her
> extensive USGS review of Florida Keys Geology,
> <http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/2007/1751> For lack of a better term we called
> reefs no longer growing “senile reefs.” We can’t predict what a news
> writer might do with that term but we could not think of anything better
> at the time. As many readers know, Florida reefs are indeed suffering
> senility. Hopefully most will recover their former vitality. It will be
> interesting to see what a news writer might do with those terms, or for
> that matter, readers of the coral-list. Lets see, “Reefs in the keys
> can’t think straight” or “they forget who they are.” 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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