[Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral bleaching in Science

Adrien Comte adrien.comte at univ-brest.fr
Wed Jan 17 10:25:14 EST 2018

Dear all,

We recently published a review article in the Journal of Environmental
Management that could shed some light on the recent conversations on this
list on coral reefs under climate change and what to do about it.

Entitled “Management strategies for coral reefs and people under global
environmental change: 25 years of scientific research”, this paper first
refines a typology to classify management strategies available, and second
reviews the literature to analyze how scientific research has or has not
focusedon these strategies.

-We develop a typology of management strategies for coral reefs and people
under GEC.
-Using this typology we review research efforts on management strategies
over 25 years.
-Half of all case studies focus on corals reefs in Australia and the United
-Most research focuses on marine protection; repair & adapt strategies need
-Developing countries in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean are poorly

Link to the article: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1WLKe14Z6tTHS~

Warm regards,
Adrien Comte

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2018 17:25:50 -0700
From: Damien Beri <beridl at g.cofc.edu>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral
        bleaching in    Science
To: "Cummings, Katy" <Katy.Cummings at MyFWC.com>
Cc: Coral Listserver <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <3D0DAEFB-6FDA-42D2-A742-AFEEF16E28FE at g.cofc.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=utf-8

?As far as best strategies, I almost feel like it would be better to
drastically improve our science communication to the public. I think there
are still far too many people out there who either don't know the issue
exists (or think the reefs are doing well), don't know what they can do, or
know what they can do but think it's hopeless anyways so why bother acting.
If we can get a lot of the public on our side, we have their power as
consumers and voters to help us in begging the legislature to listen to our

I agree with what you say about Coral Restoration and it not being a
solution and a possible vector for complacency (people feeling that they
don?t need to change their lives drastically to better the planet).
However people need to see that it is possible for direct human
intervention to assist in recovery.

I would like to add however that you are more than correct with regards to
the science community adopting different communication methods.  It?s a
shame that most people who want to study coral reef science need a minimum
of 3.5 GPA or better to even have a shot at being accepted to a school.
It?s not all about how much you know, or how well you take tests.  Much of
what today?s generation relates to is social media platforms.  If coral
science wants to make an impact they need to step their game up on
platforms that people actually care about, not whine about reef degradation
to their fellow peers on a server that speaks only to one group of people.
I see little to no effort from the science community to venture out into
different fields.  How is it that only last year ?Chasing Coral? was the
first major media publication to highlight the destruction of coral reefs.
And even so, sadly that hype came and went within a week.  Great movie,
great message, short fuse.

The coral science community is an aging group, with predominantly elder
scientists running the show.  This group will die alongside the coral reefs
if new tools for restoration are not adopted.  It is a shame how
universities select for students based on their GPA and how well they apply
for scholarships, and fail to look at what that applicant has physically
done with their time to better the planet.  And that doesn?t mean what
research they helped conduct, but what impact they truly made on the
world... on their own, without piggybacking on professors work. What type
of new skills these kids can bring to the table with their own imagination.
Because frankly, everything that has been done up to date is not working,
and it?s just bothering the heck out of all of us, causing us to battle and
bicker against ourselves rather than the real problem.

Personally, I have resentments towards universities because I have been
turned down for higher education countless times for my GPA of 2.8. I know
my part in this, I messed around in college like a lot of my peers.  But
guess what, my peers didn?t need 3.5 GPAs to go on to higher education.
They also didn?t need higher education to even get a worthwhile job, or
receive grant money which is the marine science communities Holy Grail.
What universities really don?t understand however, is the ability for some
of us to think outside the box.  A company I created to educate my peers in
a way they can respect and relate to has raised funds, awareness, and
respect for Coral reefs and Active restoration. Currently ?Reefined Arts?
has raised thousands of dollars for NGOs, Planted thousands of Corals,
employed locals, and tapped into an entirely new market, and generated a
self sufficient ever growing social media presence.

Do universities or any of you care about this? Probably not, and that?s the
real issue.  Few of you see the power of those who think outside the box.
And ever more of you fail to see that science alone will not save our
planet.  Adapting to new markets, and new trends is what will make the most
impact.  Enough said.

Warm Regards,
Damien Beri

Founder: Reefined Arts
B.S. Biology
The college of Charleston
Coral/Aquarium Specialist

> On Jan 10, 2018, at 9:26 AM, Cummings, Katy <Katy.Cummings at MyFWC.com>
> Hi Sarah,
> Thanks for the call to arms! I am a supporter of coral reef restoration,
but don't see how putting coral restoration first is the solution here. The
first step in restoring an ecosystem is to remove the stressors - which we
haven't done for coral reefs. How can we 'restore' a reef in a degraded
environment that is no longer conducive to them? You are right in saying we
need to stop burning fossil fuels at the rate we do (and stop pollution,
coastal development, restore herbivore populations, etc. etc. etc) - and
those are the things we need to do first before moving on to restoration.
There have been few studies looking at the long-term success of outplanting
projects, but with all the tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of
thousands?) of corals outplanted on to the Florida Reef Tract in the past
couple decades I would expect to see the reef recovering... it is not. Most
of the Acropora I've seen planted just become damselfish nests in a few
years. And even if these outpla
 nted corals spawn, they're not successfully recruiting to the reef.
> I am more hopeful about all the work being done to select for phenotypes
that are more resistant to certain stressors. But if we still have a
recruitment problem, I fear we're going to end up having to continually
replant the reef until (if?) we solve the overarching problems.
> On that note, I've also spoken to quite a few people down in the Keys
about the status of Florida's coral. Many of them thought the reefs were
doing great because of all the restoration happening on them. That's a
pretty dangerous outlook - it lets people think we have solved the problem
and they don't need to change anything about their own lives or be more
active in speaking up on behalf of the reef. I know there's a balance
between making people feel hopeful about the future and not depressing them
to the point where they feel like it's hopeless to act further, but
restoration needs to be clearer to the public about what it can and can not
do. I feel that all restoration is doing at this point is maybe buying the
reef some time so that we can solve the actual problems. Is that correct?
Or are we trying to selectively breed coral to create a reef that is
resilient in the face of everything humans throw at them?
> Those are my concerns and questions about restoration, and I look forward
to seeing responses!  As far as best strategies, I almost feel like it
would be better to drastically improve our science communication to the
public. I think there are still far too many people out there who either
don't know the issue exists (or think the reefs are doing well), don't know
what they can do, or know what they can do but think it's hopeless anyways
so why bother acting. If we can get a lot of the public on our side, we
have their power as consumers and voters to help us in begging the
legislature to listen to our science.
> Thank you,
> Katy
> ________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.
aoml..noaa.gov> on behalf of Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 11:08 AM
> To: Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal; Coral Listserver
> Subject: [Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral bleaching in
> As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"
> The recent Science paper (Hughes et al 2018;
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80) shows a bleak global
picture for coral reefs. We must stop burning fossil fuels if we want a
future for coral reefs as we know them..
> At this crossroads, we can either give up or keep fighting.
> I choose to fight.
> This is a Call to Action to those who still want to fight, against all
odds, so coral reefs will have a future.
> We have many strategies on the table. It's uncertain which strategy is
going to work.
> From the angle of coral reef restoration, I call on the restoration
community to work together, to share failures and successes and move
towards large-scale restoration.
> To the critics of coral reef restoration, I ask you to work with us.
Don't just say: "this won't work". Give us constructive criticism, share
your concerns with us. Is it a failure of the scientific process (validity
of hypothesis testing) or is it an engineering concern (bringing the
process to scale)?. The solution is very different in each case.
> For everyone on this list, let's find ways to work together, from science
to implementation, to communication, to everything in between.
> It's all hands on deck now.
> Sarah Frias-Torres, PhD
> Twitter: @GrouperDoc
> Science Blog: https://grouperluna.com/
> Art Blog: https://oceanbestiary.com/
> [https://s0.wp.com/i/blank.jpg]<https://oceanbestiary.com/>
> Ocean Bestiary<https://oceanbestiary.com/>
> oceanbestiary.com
> She was a clone. Not unique, not original, unable to make a difference.
Inside her? it was growing. The precious cargo released only once every
year, at the same ...
> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Frias-Torres
> [https://c5.rgstatic.net/m/437738464651637/images/
> Sarah Frias-Torres | Smithsonian Institution, DC | on ...<
> www.researchgate.net
> Sarah Frias-Torres of Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. with
expertise in Evolutionary Biology, Biology is on ResearchGate. Read 25
publications, 1 question ...
> ________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.
aoml...noaa.gov> on behalf of Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal <mark.eakin at noaa.gov
> Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 12:07 PM
> To: Coral Listserver
> Subject: [Coral-List] New paper on coral bleaching in Science
> For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the
> escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics
> the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the
> between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of
> these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.
> "The time between bleaching events at each location has diminished
> five-fold in the past 3-4 decades, from once every 25-30 years in the
> 1980s to an average of just once every six years since 2010," says lead
> Prof Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef
> Studies (Coral CoE).
> ?Reefs have entered a distinctive human-dominated era ? the Anthropocene,?
> said co-author, Dr C. Mark Eakin of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric
> Administration, USA. "The climate has warmed rapidly in the past 50 years,
> first making El Nin?os dangerous for corals, and now we're seeing the
> emergence of bleaching in every hot summer."
> For more, see the full paper at:
> https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fscience..
> Cheers,
> Mark
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
> Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> Center for Satellite Applications and Research
> Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
> e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
> url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
> Twitter: @CoralReefWatch FB: Coral Reef Watch
> NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)
> 5830 University Research Ct., E/RA32
> College Park, MD 20740
> Office: (301) 683-3320     Fax: (301) 683-3301
> Mobile: (301) 502-8608    SOCD Office: (301) 683-3300
> ?You would have to reject the ?greenhouse effect? outright to conclude
> human activities pumping millions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse
> gases into the atmosphere every year are having little or no impact on the
> earth?s climate. That is simply not a tenable position."
> William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush,
> June 18 2014
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Adrien Comte

Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer

Tel: 02 90 91 56 13
European Institute for Marine Studies

Tel: +332 90 91 56 13

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