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It is a sad day in Florida for corals, fish and the people who love them

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This afternoon Associated Press reported that a previously successful project in Florida comes to a halt.  The project, which I conceived, was designed to align the training needs of military divers, Army landing craft operations, and others in our armed services with the need for a massive salvage project that sought to remove hundreds of thousands of tires from an area a mile off of the sandy beaches of Ft. Lauderdale.

Once poised to save taxpayers $28 million, this project’s efficient use of existing government resources is stalled.

Brian Skoloff, an AP reporter in Florida, was able to get the answer to the question that many have been asking for months:  When will the divers and ship crews be back in Ft. Lauderdale for the next round of training and coral reef restoration?   It is unsettling that the answer is at least 2012.

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

Written by Will Nuckols

February 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

One Response

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  1. I was horrified to learn how the Federal, State of Florida and Broward County were going to leave these tires as is, hoping that sometime in the future more money will be found! Back in 2006 when it was known then that not all tires would be brought up WHY wasn’t there any discussion on securing the remaining tires??
    Having just returned from French Polynesia and witnessed the destruction of the reefs there only to come home to hear this news of an immenient disaster was unbelievable so I began to analyze a solution and offered my equipment and manpower to install this solution.

    My company has what I believe a viable plan to secure these tires in place until money can be found to completely remove or recycle them where they lye.
    Simply, by installing anchor pins throughout the tire field, 35 football fields, taking 1 football field at a time, install mooring buoy pins then attach nets throughout the tire field to keep floating tires from being picked up and decimating the reef system along the east coast. Tires would not just ruin the reef along Broward a storm could carry these tires along the coast all the way to Palm Beach County.

    My offer to Broward County of this proposal and equipment and manpower to install such a system was answered by ” apply for a permit”! According to Mr. Ken Banks this could take years.
    The permit Broward County has for this project has wordage from the Army Corps of Engineers stating that the markers devised by Broward County to mark areas of the tire field were inadequate and divers could not find them, Concrete blocks filled with concrete and marker pole.
    Post recommendation for 2010 is to install a more secure marker system. My belief is that not only can a more secure marker system be installed but these markers could be the anchor points for a net to be attached to.
    Each net could be color coded allowing for exact locating of specific tires. This technique is used daily by dump truck companies to cover their load.
    I believe that a football field can be secured with anchors and netting within 2 weeks and all areas completed September 2010 under the current permit, again this offer was refused.
    A solution to keep these tires in place must be enacted before another manmade disaster.

    David Pressler, President DRD Enterprises Ind of Davie and WorkingDivers.com

    If Broward County cannot assist in saving this reef and maintains a tunnel vision approach to this tragedy then if not this year next or next we will witness the most destructive reef tragedy in most of our lifetimes.

    David Pressler

    March 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

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