Contact Us Blog Shop


Ron Simpson at FAA contact info. can be emailed from: or call 808-541-1232

From Dr. Dean Jacobson, March 18, 2013

Coral mining on Majuro just expanded significantly eastward, getting closer to an especially colorful, lovely "blue and gold" reef that must be protected, by any sane person's estimation.  The silt curtain, required by the management plan to be inspected weekly and repaired as needed, has enormous holes and an entire missing panel (it droped 8-10 meters onto a coral reefs, smothering the coral).  As usual, the EMP is being ignored both by the contractor (name removed) and the regulator RMI EPA.
It is vitally important now to email Ron.V.Simpson at to protest this nonsense; I have repeatedly asked for this, and according to a FOIA request (Freedom of information act), assuming FAA released all the necesary documents in the past five years, only one person on the list did so, Dr. Jessica Carilli.  (Thanks, Jess!)  She has given me permission to use her name.  Her message is succinct and true:

"Coral reefs worldwide are in a dire state of emergency; knowingly killing live reefs when alternatives exist is criminal.  Indeed, President Clinton's Executive Order 13089 states that all federal agencies must protect coral reef ecosystems to the extent feasible.  Sand and coral rubble can be dredged from different areas of the lagoon where no live ocrla will be damaged.  This project must be stopped immediately so that proper regulations can be followed."
I also learned that Ron Simpson wrote the following (this is a matter of public record to the FOIA request, no need to censor it!) in July 2011 after they halted the original planned mining of the picnic reef (mining of an equally nice reef started August 2012):
"We have been informed that the contractor will not be allowed to draline form the shore for the fill materials in the area where the RMI EPA issued the dredging permit (i.e.,, the area where Dr. Dean Jacobson is concerned about damgae to the coral reef).  The contractor is now to consider other option for obtain the fill material such as off-shore dredging from a barge, using an alternative site, or import, and to provide cost estimates for each option.  We view this as a major steop toward addressing Dr. Jacoson's concern and resolution of this issue.  We will continue to monitor the progress.  We encourage the RMI Port Authority to coninue to work constructive will all local agencies and stakeholders involved to readh a mutually agreeable solution.  **Once all local agencies and stakeholders are in agreement, we will review the recommend alternative options to confirm that all enviromental requirmentes are met, and the impact to the marine
 enviornment is minimized.**
Note that FAA has been calling the shots, despite the US Embassy and FAA fiction about "sovereignty"  (We don't have jurisdiction, we can't intervene", they say!) This last sentance is utter lip service, actually the opposite happened.  "Agreement" was not even attempted, I was excluded from the process prior to the approval of the reservoir reef mining plan, I was banned from the EPA building, and the environmental impact was maximized by substituting one valuable reef for another.  This is entirely unacceptable, FAA should be ashamed.  Please email!  I also have a petition that is still growing, too slowly!

Please sign the petition now!

US-funded coral mining in the Marshall Islands

Please require the Department of State to apply the coral protection that is required by Executive Order 13089, thus ensuring that all FAA projects at the Majuro airport in the Marshall Islands refrain from again using coral reef mining as a source of fill for its airport master plan (this is desirable and indeed possible due to a huge supply of fill in the lagoon, away from coral). By doing so, the "addiction" of destructive coral mining can finally be ended in the Marshall Islands, where living coral is needed to protect the increasingly vulnerable shorelines.

The FAA, in a series of airport improvement projects using local contractors, has unintentionally caused the mining of near-shore lagoon coral reefs as a source of fill; the local EPA has always approved or ignored this practice. For example, in 2008 a large reef was mined by PII (a local company) for the ARFF fire station project (pictures available on Flickr). The US is required to follow a higher environmental road, thanks to Bill Clinton's Executive Order 13089, which specifically requires protection of coral reefs even outside the US. Yet coral mining has again been approved, and may start within months, if local EPA approves it (for a second time) and if the US Embassy here in Majuro approves the local approval.  See ten short videos of the reef at: