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

sealab at earthlink.net sealab at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 24 17:07:05 UTC 2021

Hi Jon,

Having the ability to engage with military veterans and the broader US and international populations by exposing them to the critical nature of the crisis facing coral reefs is exactly what is needed. That why I was so excited to hear about this project when it was first being developed. But here’s the rub, communicating with a broader audience will only prove helpful if the message is on point. Instead we seem to be missing out on a great opportunity to get the word out that we are outplanting corals in an attempt to help them survive an existential crisis. A crisis that can best be resolved by dealing directly with climate change, water pollution and other local threats to coral reefs. What’s so hard about that?

Steve Mussman

On 4/23/21, 7:33 AM, Jon slayer via Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

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



Force Blue




From: Coral-List on behalf of Douglas Fenner via Coral-List

Sent: 22 April 2021 22:13

To: coral list

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 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 yearís Draft.The

> film features the work of FORCE BLUE, a team of retired Special

> Operations military

> divers dedicated to saving Americaís 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 Aquariumís

> 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 ìGonzoî 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 Administrationís 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

> Web | Facebook

> | Twitter



> *The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program's mission is to protect,

> conserve, and restore coral reef resources by maintaining healthy ecosystem

> function.*

> _______________________________________________

> Coral-List mailing list

> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

> https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcoral.aoml.noaa.gov%2Fmailman%2Flistinfo%2Fcoral-list&data=04%7C01%7C%7C1b4a3dfea7ee4831e3dd08d90644a734%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637547714195233389%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=p5uXlxKfRZ5a6B7V2eiMmBsXG84y4IFs9eJC0tbqPMc%3D&reserved=0


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