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Coral Ecologist  to be prosecuted for "criminal trespass" for a snorkel survey done in August 2012

Sad update to the Dr. Dean Jacobson’s fight to stop dredging of beautiful reefs in Majuro, Marshall Islands. This destructive coral mining is funded by the United States FAA for expansion of the airport. Near-shore lagoon coral reefs  being dredged for fill for the airport expansion project. Dr. Dean Jacobson is a Coral Ecologist who has 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. Coral reefs are in danger of extinction, why is the U.S. Government funding mining of healthy reefs to use as building filler?  Petitioners are calling for the U.S. Government to halt excavation of the healthy coral reefs that surround the Marshall Islands. Coral mining is taking place to provide building filler for the expansion of the Imata Kabua International Airport on Majuro. President 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. Spread the word and sign the petition to require the United States FAA to comply with Executive Order 13089.

From: Dean Jacobson
Date: 3/12/14, 6:08 PM

This update may seen too weird to be true, but trust me!  After trying for more than a year to gain an audience with the RMI EPA Board of Directors (who approved the ongoing US FAA-funded mining of the reservoir lagoon reef without any environmental assessment, even refusing to view my underwater photos), and being very polite and friendly with the EPA manager Lowell Alik, who was beginning to show some interest in visiting the still-intact "blue and gold reef" where yellow branched Porites and violet Pocillopora (blue at a distance) are interspersed, to great effect, I paid Lowell a recent visit.  He had been off island a lot, I had trouble finding him.  He asked (many months after our last talk) "when are we going to do the site visit?" but the conditions were impossible, due to the waves and the nearby dredging operation (visibility was near zero).  It triggered my pent up frustration, and I complained bitterly to him about the corruption of the entire permitting process.  A week later, I was arrested by 7 policeman, manhandled and handcuffed, and thrown into jail, for "drunken disturbing the peace" (with drunken crossed out).  24 hours later I was released (after a very unpleasant, hot night trying to sleep on a hard board, being bitten by fire ants) and I was instantly terminated from my teaching contract, with no one to take over my two classes!  A week or two later, an unpredicted wave surge flooded parts of Majuro, damaging many homes, and I was able to document this on Gopro.  I made a video, linking coral destruction and increased risk
of coastal flooding.

So, I made plans to move back to the mainland, unemployed, and my container is being loaded on a ship today.  Then I find this week that I am being arraigned, prosecuted for "criminal trespass" by the Attorney General's office for a snorkel survey I did in August 2012! This is clearly the work of [name removed] of PII, who is dredging the reef, unconstrained by regulation.  I suggest you may want to take action I suggest in the video, and also email PII.  I really could use your support!



Thanks!      Dean Jacobson, Ph.D.  [email protected]