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A bad recipe for our reefs
October 7, 2012 - Harry Eagar
The Maui News reports that after a lot of work, a local group in alliance with NOAA has come up with a summary of what is causing decline of West Maui’s reefs.
Unfortunately, diligence is no substitute for knowledge, and the West Maui Watershed and Coastal Management task force blew it. While some of their conclusions are valid, the big, expensive one is baloney. The Maui News says:
"The county’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility role involves pouring 3.5 million to 5 million gallons a day of nutrient-rich treated water underground using injection wells, Hood said. These nutrients have been blamed, at least in part, for killing coral and feeding algae blooms that strangle it."
The truth is, the treated wastewater is not rich in nutrients. It is very low in nutrients. If it weren’t for the yuuck factor and the slight possibility of disease organisms, you could drink the stuff. Hundreds of millions of people drink water a lot worse that what goes down the injection wells.
For years now, and notwithstanding the EPA spent a million dollars back in the early ’90s trying to convict the wells and failed, a band of environmental zealots have been running a campaign against the effluent. If they had merely visited the Central Laboratory and observed the testing of the effluent (done daily), they’d know better. It’s not too late. The lab operates every day of the year.
There’s a lot of bogus “information” out there about the oceans. The same Sunday The Maui News helped publicize the wrongheaded West Maui report, the Los Angeles Times ran a story about the dangers of an acid ocean:
"Rising acidity doesn’t just imperil the West Coast’s $110-million oyster industry. It ultimately will threaten other marine animals, the seafood industry and even the health of humans who eat affected shellfish, scientists say."
Not worry though. The ocean is not turning acid, if you go swimming, your suit won’t dissolve. The ocean has been alkaline for billions of years and it will continue to be alkaline until the sun expands and burns us to a crisp.
The ocean is about as alkaline as a glass of Alka-Seltzer.
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