Monthly Archives: July 2008

Red Tide, Dredging, Clean Water, Sewage and lawsuits in Florida

Environmental News for Florida; the last 30 days


This Florida News briefing made possible from the sale of Green License Plates and EarthRehab


Florida has been a hot spot for Environmental News over the last 30 days. I would like to highlight and link to a few great moments.


June 24, 2008– Governor Crist tells US Sugar to pack their bags and buys back a section of the “River of Grass.”

The Sugar Deal


July 7-11, 2008- To kick off the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill to close all of the sewage pipes that pump 300 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Atlantic Gulf-stream. Ed Tichenor and Reef Rescue of the Palm Beaches get the hard won victory and credit.

The Sewage Deal


July 16, 2008– Surfrider Foundation and the City of Lake Worth join in a lawsuit to stop the useless Dredge and Fill projects that suffocate the Reefs.

The Dredge Lawsuit


July 16, 2008– Ciguatera Outbreak, 5 cases reported in Florida. Ciguatera is a disease caused when you eat reef fish that have consumed Harmful Algae Blooms.

The Ciguatera Outbreak


July 17, 2008- EarthJustice files a lawsuit for Clean Water Act enforcement in Florida vs. Harmful Algae Blooms.

The Clean Water Lawsuit


Help celebrate Environmental Victories and support Nature Research with the 100% Bright Blank Recycled Green License Plate by EarthRehab.

Check out the photos.


the politics of Green at ICRS 2008

ICRS 2008/ 11th International Coral Reef Symposium

The International Year of the Reef 2008

Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale Florida

July 7-11, 2008



EarthRehab, WJTW, and Taras Oceanographic made the following journal and summary possible. Author: William Djubin, Founder of EarthRehab.

EarthRehab was founded to create Global Awareness and Funding for Nature Research.

Many thanks go to EPA, ERM, World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, Reef Check and participating Scientists from around the World. This Symposium had over 3,500 attendees with the same agenda “Reefs for the Future”.


During my visits to the Symposium I tried to get a daily healthy mix of venues, The Reef and Ocean Free Education and Expo, Press Briefings, Scientific Lectures, and Posters.


Facts pertaining to Coral Reef Ecosystems:

  1. Seas and oceans comprise over 70% of the Earth’s surface
  2. Coral Reefs occupy less than ¼ of 1 percent of the marine environment
  3. Greater than 25% of all marine fish species live on coral reefs
  4. More than 500 million people across the world depend on coral reefs for food, coastal protection, livelihoods, and tourism income
  5. More than 30 million people (poor nations) depend almost entirely on coral reefs for food and protection.
  6. In 1998 approximately 16% of the world’s coral reefs died due to temperature change and coral bleaching.
  7. In 2005 bleaching records for Belize; USVI and Mexico 25%-45%; Caribbean 50%-95%; Trinidad and Tobago 85%;


Day 1


To kick off the event in typical 2008 Year of the Reef fashion, Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill to close all of the sewage pipes that pump 300 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Atlantic Gulf-stream. Ed Tichenor and Reef Rescue of the Palm Beaches get the hard won victory and credit.


Day 2


Media Press Release Coral Reef Fish, where are they going? Presentations by Geoffrey Jones, Bob Warner, and Phil Munday

·        30-60% of reef species return to place of birth and can migrate up to 30 Km.

·        Climate Change is degrading the Habitat with Coral Bleaching, Loss of Coral, and Ocean Acidification

Question for the panel – If we could rejuvenate the Coral Reef Ecosystem and Tropical Reef Fish stock levels, would this reduce rising ocean temperatures and acidification?

Answer from panel – No; we are too far in the process. Global Climate change and Green House Gases must be taken seriously now before disastrous events occur.

I met the EPA. William Fisher of the EPA welcomed me to the Symposium and we spoke of TMDL and WQMS for the world’s oceans. The EPA addressed the scientific community regarding Biological Assessments and Defensible Monitoring utilizing the Clean Water Act and Reef Check methodologies.


Day 3

Media Press Release Coral Disease Beyond the Symptoms. Presentations by Drew Harvell, John Bruno, Laurie Raymundo, Tyler Christensen

·        Climate change is affecting coral reefs with disease; we need to reduce emission levels to reduce stress on the reef system. Marine protected areas with a more diverse community of fishes showed less disease. Seaweed and algae do not cause coral disease or bleaching; however, dissolved organic carbon does. We must maintain a diversity of reef fishes.

EPA Patricia Bradley made a presentation regarding the Clean Water Act to protect Marine Managed Areas or monitored reef ecosystems from land based pollution. Encouraged scientists to utilize the authority of the Clean Water Act for Bio-criteria, gave special thanks to William Fisher.


Day 4

Media Press Release Untold Stories of Climate Change and Corals. Presentations by Simon Donner, Douglas Fenner, Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, Susan Colley, Dr. Finn

·        3 specific separate factors: rising CO2 not climate change, rising ocean temperatures, changing ocean chemistry

·        American Samoa has a constant 5year bleaching, death, re-growth cycle

·        We must separate and understand 2 types of algae good vs. bad

·        Seaweeds and algae do not fair well with high CO2 either

·        Pacific Ocean from Mexico to S. America including the Galapagos Islands reporting marginal and disturbed habitat for coral reefs, no coral reefs exist in Galapagos only reef colonies

·        Calcifying Organisms cannot withstand ocean acidification and CO2 rising levels

·        Effects of Global Climate Change have a lag affect, it will take a long time to slow the processes, and we need immediate actions.


Question for the panel How much affect does land based pollution has on bad algae outbreaks?

Answer from panelAnswer: Increased growth rate of bad algae with nutrient rich waters.


Question for the panel How much affect does land based pollution has on Ocean Acidification?

Answer from panelThis is a location specific question: Florida has a nutrient issue with ocean pollution, and nutrient issues do not exist worldwide. Bleaching will become a problem before Ocean Acidification due to ocean temperatures rising. With acidification, deep ocean reefs will be the first affected, saturation of deeper reefs make them more vulnerable and at risk


Media Press Release NOAA Conrad Lautenbacher Administrator, Admiral

  • Admiral Lautenbacher attends the symposium to support NOAA and the scientists
  • Life in the oceans sustain life on Earth
  • Florida Keys NMS a success NHINM single largest coral reef achievement in the World
  • Our degrading reef problem is an international problem, NOAA committed to climate study, climate monitoring, interactment with IPCC, provide science for climatologist,
  • Global Carbon Monitoring System is needed now; satellite and ground based collaboration.. US has 60 carbon monitoring stations in place.
  • Currently NOAA is under budgeted and reached a plateau from Congress. President Bush aided with additional funds. Future climate is favorable for budgets, and the G8 outcome looks positive
  • Ocean illiteracy is the United States’ biggest problem and we need to educate.


Closing Statements


  • We can reduce land-based pollution now
  • We can reduce over fishing now
  • We need to buy time now while we solve our Greenhouse fuel emissions issues or our reef systems will collapse

I have full abstracts from the Press Briefings and posted photography on Flickr.

Visit the Group 11th International Coral Reef Symposium to view pics of presentations, posters, press releases.

11th International Coral Reef Symposium, July 7-11 2008

ICRS Tshirt by EarthRehabBack of Tshirt for the ICRS 2008 by EarthRehabEarthRehab will attend the Symposium and we have created a special t-shirt for the occasion; it reads W.Q.M.S. and T.M.D.L. on the front.


Ft. Lauderdale Florida

Every four years the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) convenes as a major scientific conference to provide the latest knowledge about coral reefs worldwide. Natural scientists, resource managers and users, conservationists, economists, and educators meet together to advance coral reef science, management, and conservation.

REEFS FOR THE FUTURE is the scientific theme of the Symposium, highlighting one of the most important international treasures: coral reefs. Degradation due to factors including pollution, over fishing, and climate change, threaten destruction of these ecosystems on an unprecedented global scale.

As I understand it the following will be present and Expoing at the Symposium:

World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, International Coral Reef Initiative, the Billfish Foundation, Wyland Foundation, and NOAA.

Contact William at EarthRehab and reserve a WQMS and TMDL shirt today while supplies last.

ICRS 2008/ The 11th International Coral Reef Symposium

Broward County Convention Center Ft. Lauderdale Florida


A brief synopsis of my experiences, abstracts are available.

Contact me at

William Djubin




The Symposium kicked off in traditional International Year of the Reef 2008 celebration style. Reef Rescue and Ed Tichenor get the well-deserved credit and victory.


On opening day Reef Rescue was honored to be recognized by Florida Governor Charlie Crist for our groups work in protecting the marine environment. The Governor opened the Symposium by signing into law a bill to end ocean outfall sewage dumping in south Florida. The bill introduced by Senator Burt Saunders Environmental committee culminated six years of effort by Reef Rescue volunteers and the south Florida diving community to end this archaic practice. .