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Article by Shane GraberPosted Sep 12, 2012 02:00 PM. Reprinted from

Videos by  Dr. Jean Jacobson

The Marshall Islands rely heavily on services for its economic well-being and a United States FAA funded expansion to its airport is threatening to destroy nearby lagoon coral reefs.

Bill Clinton with his 1998 Executive Order 13089 "Coral Reef Protection" requires the national government to preserve and protect the U.S. coral reef ecosystems and the marine environment. However, an FAA-funded airport expansion in the Marshall Islands, an island system with close ties to the United States through its Compact of Free Association is not complying with the Executive Order. Near-shore lagoon coral reefs are targeted by Pacific International, Inc. as a source of fill for the airport expansion project. Meanwhile a perfectly acceptable alternative fill source, a lagoon situated near the airport, is ignored and local officials are ignoring pleas to use this alternative fill source. How can you help? Spread the word and sign the petition to require the United States FAA to comply with Executive Order 13089.

Coral ecologist, Dean Jacobson, Ph.D., is documenting the targeted near-shore lagoon coral reefs on his Youtube channel and has produced two excellent videos detailing what is going on at the site. Watch the videos and sign the petition to stop this mining practice in the Marshall Islands:

Please,  sign the petition, 6000 more signatures would make a big difference.


"A big question is: after this reef is destroyed, which will be the next one?  PII has been mining coral reefs from shore on ajuro for many years.  It is time that the US help the RMI get off this self-destructive addiction, co-dependently funded by the US for a series of FAA projects, of mining coral when they have a giant lagoon filled with unlimited quantities of both fine fill and aggregate, just waiting to be responsibly exploited.  If  (name deleted) won’t do this, some one else will!  It is actually a catch-22: FAA demands such a small budget that deeper lagoon dredging is considered unaffordable.  Obviously, the considerable value of a living coral reef is being completely ignored, “externalized” to the least affluent Marshallese fishermen who are losing their fish without compensation."

–  Dr. Dean Jacobson,  Coral Ecologist in the Marshall Islands. He was been chronicling the reefs of Majuro atoll in the Marshall Islands since 2001, and fighting to slow the destruction of these reefs by pollution, mining and overfishing.