[Coral-List] Fwd: 100 Yards of Hope Documentary Premiere on April 27

Jon slayer jonslayer at hotmail.co.uk
Fri Apr 23 11:33:08 UTC 2021

Noted the valid criticisms below and no doubt there are more. A question - how many coral reef research publications were showcased at the last two Superbowls? Force Blue were.

How many will be showcased at the upcoming NFL Draft? Force Blue will be there.

How do you engage the 18 million US Veterans and broader US population in coral reef conservation and environmental issues? Force Blue reaches people that otherwise would not hear about these issues.

It may be easy to pick holes in the content of these media releases and the approach of Force Blue purely from an academic perspective but as a tool for communicating with our society Force Blue should be embraced by the Coral List community. I would encourage you to work with these guys, they have a lot to offer. Then you can help them get the messaging right too. They can help with your projects and help communicate them to people that would otherwise not hear, or care, about them.

I am a veteran and Force Blue team member. Unusually for a veteran I have a background approaching 30 years of involvement in coral reef research and conservation. Force Blue bring veterans to a place where they can hear about and invest themselves in your work in the oceans. Engage with them https://forceblueteam.org/

Jon Slayer

British Stunt Register<http://www.thebritishstuntregister.com/>



Force Blue<https://forceblueteam.org/team-one/>

From: Coral-List <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> on behalf of Douglas Fenner via Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: 22 April 2021 22:13
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Fwd: 100 Yards of Hope Documentary Premiere on April 27

This message is too long, so here is an abstract:

Robin's message is exciting sounding.

But, Florida's reefs are not barrier reefs.

The US actually has other barrier reefs in Hawaii, but they are very small.

This project sounds to me like it is treating the symptoms of the problem,
not the causes.  If we don't treat the causes, our projects are doomed to
failure, sooner or later, wasted time, effort, and money.  Shouldn't we at
least acknowledge that???

Scale: such projects are necessarily minute in scale compared to the
world's reefs.  100 yards of reef will not save reefs that are the size of
the Great Barrier Reef, 2500 MILES long, not 100 yards.  It's a start, BUT
reefs are too big, vastly too big.

There are reasons the corals have been dying in Florida, from what I read,
this project doesn't tackle any of them.  Coral disease has probably caused
the most coral mortality in the western Atlantic, and is still killing
lots.  We don't have good tools to stop it yet.  The latest and best
research shows that Florida's water over it's reefs has way too many
nutrients, which is killing the corals.  A restoration project's own
published data shows that most of the corals they planted out die over
time.  Why would we expect planted out corals to live any longer than those
that are already naturally out there?  Yes, breeding for heat resistance
can help.  But if we don't get greenhouse gas emissions, we're heading full
speed towards a world so hot no coral will be able to survive, selective
breeding or not.  Meantime, almost all corals planted out are doomed to die
due to bad water quality and/or disease.

OK, now the lengthy version:

Wow, that's exciting!!  I guess it was written to be exciting.

A couple of technical details.  The Florida reefs are not a barrier reef,
although some people like to call them that.  Everybody wants to call their
reef a barrier reef, presumably because the Great Barrier Reef is so
famous.  The "Mesoamerican Barrier Reef" is not a barrier reef north of
Belize, it is a fringing reef there.  Belize indeed has a barrier reef.
Florida's living coral reefs, what are left of them, are tiny little
things, most of which you'd need GPS to find.  They're not a barrier to
anything.  The Florida Keys are indeed a string of islands that are very
much of a barrier.  The shallow water around them is as well, ships have
gone aground at times.  The Florida coral reefs have long been called the
"Florida Reef Track."

Second, actually, the U.S. does have some barrier reefs, Hawaii has a
couple of quite small barrier reefs, one is on the north shore of Oahu at
Kaneohe Bay, and the other on the north shore of Kauai.

Your post says that this project will "lay the groundwork for future coral
restoration worldwide".  Sounds like nobody else has been doing any coral
restoration.  I'm told Fiji alone has 50 reef restoration projects.  Recent
post on coral-list announced a new book with lots of chapters by people
doing coral restoration, I presume some of the authors are scientists and
that something is known about reef restoration already.

More seriously:

A major question is whether projects like this, particularly in Florida but
also surely some other places (but just as surely not all), are treating
the symptoms instead of the disease.  If you don't tackle what caused the
loss of corals, planting corals will not "save a portion of the reef."

May I commend people to an article by Mumby and Steneck, 2008, in
particular Box 1, which is entitled "Active reef restoration: Great
Expectations or Field of Dreams?"  It points out two problems: scale, and
treating symptoms.

Scale:  "To date, the largest active restoration project treated an area of
0.07 km2, which is six orders of magnitude less than the estimated global
area of damaged coral [72]."  "100 Yards of Hope" when the Great Barrier
Reef is 2500 miles long with about 2500 reefs, as long as Maine to
Florida??  Yes, restoration can work on some small high-value reefs.  But
you can't restore all the damaged reefs.  Is raising unrealistic hopes
instead of tackling the real problems, a good idea??

     For treating symptoms, it says "Treating the symptoms versus the
causes of an unhealthy reef" and "A reef is considered unhealthy if it
lacks the resilience needed for natural processes of recovery."  (does that
sound like Florida?) and "The system can be so hostile to coral that the
transplants die rapidly." and "As Edwards points out [72], active
restoration has the greatest potential to stimulate recovery in systems of
intermediate health."  That is, if a reef is in great health, there is no
need for restoration, it hasn't lost.  And if it is in terrible shape, that
means something damaged it.  Unless the causal factor is removed, whether
it be mass coral bleaching, disease, bad water quality, overfishing,
whatever, then "restoring" a reef will be a very temporary exercise, the
corals planted out will die at rates similar to the natural coral.  A lot
of money and effort will have been wasted with no permanent benefit.  Are
the Florida reefs in great health, intermediate health, or terrible
health???  I'm no expert, I don't study them, but from what I read it does
NOT sound good, I doubt they are in intermediate health.  More likely they
are in their final death throes.  But maybe I've been reading too much
exaggerated alarmist reports.

Which reminds me of a recent paper from Florida by Ware et al.  Their
abstract states "Survivorship among projects based on colony counts ranged
from 4% to 89% for seven cohorts monitored at least five years. Weibull
survival models were used to estimate survivorship beyond the duration of
the projects and ranged from approximately 0% to over 35% after five years
and 0% to 10% after seven years."  Does that sound like success to
people??  How should success be measured, by number of corals planted out
(even if most or all will die?), is 90% survival success?  50%?  35%?  10%
0%???  There is an old saying about yachts, that the definition of a yacht
is a hole in the water you pour money into (maintenance, no doubt).

So how about that Florida water?  Does that have anything to do with the
decline of the reefs there?  Granted, coral disease has had a major impact
in Florida and the Caribbean, and the new disease is killing much of what
is left.  And a cure-all for coral disease is surely not at hand and seems
a long way off.  But a coral-list post not that long ago pointed to a study
documenting in great detail the problems with Florida water in the keys.
My understanding is that millions or probably 10's of millions or more is
being spent to build wastewater treatment plants on the Florida Keys, where
until they are built, sewage water is pumped into wells down into the
highly porous carbonate rock under everything, some of which eventually
comes out nearer the reefs.

Anybody who wants to see what Florida looks like underwater, Joe Pawlick
has posted on coral list links to several videos taken there.  Lots of
gorgonians, some sponges, and precious few live corals.  Very sad and

I must acknowledge that many project leaders realize if we don't get the
threats that cause the loss of corals fixed, coral restoration will not
bring the reefs back.  In some or many restoration sites, the water quality
is good.  Some projects outplant corals that are more heat tolerant than
other corals (but if we continue business as usual, emissions and global
warming will kill any "supercoral" anybody can breed.)  I also acknowledge
that there is a good argument for buying time for major threats like global
warming and water quality to be reduced.  But don't we need to do some
critical thinking and be realistic about the continuing causes of loss of
corals and our chance of restoring badly degraded reefs??

I have full sympathy.  We are ALL incredibly frustrated.  The problems that
HAVE to be solved are so large and great, and there is SO much resistance
to solving any of them, a single person or small project is way too tiny.
And I agree, we have to try things, sometimes against great odds, when we
are as desperate as we are now.  I like the idea of presenting sucess
stories as well as gloom and doom stories.  But is planting out thousands
of corals in Florida and then they almost all die, a success story????

Mumby and Steneck.  2008.  Coral reef management and conservation in light
of rapidly evolving ecological paradigms.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Ware et al  Survivorship and growth in staghorn coral *(Acropora
cervicornis)* outplanting projects in the Florida Keys National Marine

Thirty years of unique data reveal what's really killing coral reefs

Anthropogenic nutrient enrichment of seagrass and coral reef communities in
the lower Florida Keys: discrimination of local versus regional nitrogen

Cheers, Doug

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 1:56 PM Robin Garcia - NOAA Affiliate via
Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> The world premiere of 100 Yards of Hope,a documentary about the unique
> Super Bowl restoration of a football field-sized coral reef, will debut
> during NFLDraft week in Cleveland, the host city of this year’s Draft.The
> film features the work of FORCE BLUE, a team of retired Special
> Operations military
> divers dedicated to saving America’s only barrier coral reef. NFLGreen
> teamed
> up with FORCE BLUE, scientists, natural resource managers and NFL partners
> who came together to save a portion of the reef off the coast of Miami and
> lay
> the groundwork for future coral restoration worldwide. The Greater
> Cleveland Aquarium will host the world premiere virtually on Tuesday, April
> 27, 2021 at 10AM EDT.
> Those who are interested in watching the world premiere can register to
> receive the link to watch for free on the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s
> website at https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.greaterclevelandaquarium.com%2F100-yards-of-hope%2F&data=04%7C01%7C%7C1b4a3dfea7ee4831e3dd08d90644a734%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637547714195223404%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=asY0v7%2BgbHB%2F1trXywOKJiAeoWnjZpxweGmbF414%2BGE%3D&reserved=0.
> Students from the Cleveland area will be featured following the premiere as
> they direct questions to marine scientist Dalton Hesley and former Navy
> SEAL Steve “Gonzo” Gonzalez. Schools who register for the premiere will
> also receive coral education learning links and the chance to win a Greater
> Cleveland Aquarium virtual field trip for a future date.The National
> Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program
> (NOAA CRCP) worked with FORCE BLUE and provided funding for the creation of
> the100 Yardsof Hope documentary to increase awareness of the threat to
> coral reefs and this unique collaboration to address it.
> *Robin Garcia*
> Communications Director, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
> Pronouns: she/her/hers
> CSS employee as part of Lynker/CSS Team
> On contract to OCM
> Office: 240-533-0776
> Cell: 202-256-6615
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