[Coral-List] Effect of Deet

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Mon Apr 22 15:44:51 UTC 2019

A study of the effect of Deet on corals is a great idea. In the past we 
detected Deet in ground water offshore in the Florida Keys. Certainly 
corals are exposed to Deet at some level and we have no idea of its 
effects on corals. That we found it in saline groundwater is pretty 
clear evidence it enters Keys ground water from waste water, sewage, and 
bath water. Its presence may be right up there with DDT and 
Oxybenzone.(among many other things)
     Many have examined effects of groundings and hurricane damage. 
Before the 1980s mechanical damage quickly healed but after the 1970s 
such damage lead to infection and coral death. I once published an 
article about the construction of Keys Lighthouses. Before they were 
constructed groundings, (everything from war ships to common sailboats 
to early steel cargo ships) were common. The irony is the lighthouses 
were constructed not to protect the reefs but to protect the boats, 
their cargo, and passengers. One can imagine the damage caused by 
construction of lighthouses. They had to scarify the reefs before 
construction could begin. In addition after they were built dynamite was 
used to keep a supply channel through growing corals open to transport 
supplies to light  house keepers. Outside of the city of Key West there 
were few residents in the Florida Keys and small boats were rare. In the 
1950s when we were scrounging and spearing fish we seldom saw another 
boat for miles. Sewage, sunscreen, and Deet, along with DDT and many 
others were  well in the future. There was little concern for keeping 
coral alive back then. 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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