Saturday, May 29, 2010

Letter to Editor

Editor, The Seattle Times

Letters to the Editor

May 23, 2010

Dear Editor,

I’m responding to your May 21st article "Local business owners planning for fallout from Gulf oil disaster," by Mellisa Allison and Amy Martinez, describing a Seattle restaurant owner procuring his shrimp from Mexico, rather than from the US Gulf Coast. While the oil leak disaster will produce serious shortages of Gulf Coast shrimp, why add fuel to an already raging ecological fire by substituting imported farm-raised shrimp for US shrimp? The level of US demand is itself unsustainable and contributing to massive mangrove forest losses, fisheries declines and human rights abuses just to feed our thoughtless appetite in the US for cheap shrimp. We need to see a reduction of our consumption, rather than try to fill the "gap" left by the BP created disaster! Mangrove Action Project has recently launched its Question Your Shrimp consumer campaign aimed at consumers, chefs and retailers, urging a reduction in shrimp consumption levels from 4.4 lbs. per capita to levels 10 years ago of 2.2 lbs. We need to half our consumption, rather than attempt to maintain it. Otherwise, our dining habits will cause an even greater ecological disaster, which our Mother Earth herself can no longer stomach!

Alfredo Quarto,

Executive Director

Mangrove Action Project

Reader Submitted Poetry

Hi alfredo. It's Helen. I had to write a poem for school on an injustice. I did it about the mangroves. My mom told me to send it to you, so here it is.

People don't notice the mangroves,
They are blind to the fish that swim between their roots,
To the birds that perch on their branches,
And to the clean blue water that surrounds the trees.

People don't notice the mangroves,
They see a "wasteland" to develop,
A useless swamp to turn into a road,
A place to farm shrimp and then to abandon.

People don't notice the mangroves,
Gone are the mangroves of Uran,
They cut down the trees and the fishing villages died,
The birds are silent and the water is dirtied,
The soil erodes and CO2 is released to poison the sky.

People should notice the mangroves,
They should protect the trees, not kill them,
Before there are no mangroves left not to notice.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Letter to Mexico's President

Dear President Calderonl,

I am the executive director of Mangrove Action Project, a global network with over 400 member NGOs and 300 scientists, working on mangrove conservation and restoration issues. We have just learned of your government's plans to allow hotel development on and adjacent to the turtle nesting beach at X'Cacel on the Yucatan Peninsula. We are aware that the tourism industry is eager to develop all it can of the so-called Mayan Riviera, but we are concerned that your nation will sell out its unique natural resources for investment capitol that will be as short-lived as it is short-sighted and inappropriate for the future of your nation. The natural beauty and bounty of your country is in your natural resources and healthy ecosystems, which themselves contribute immensely to a healthy economy and are the actual tourist attraction that bring tourism business to Mexico. So, the planned development at X'Cacel is actually a detriment to your nation's economy, not an asset as the developer would have you believe.

Please take immediate action to halt this short-sighted development at X'Cacel, saving not only the massive turtle nesting of endangered sea turtles but also saving Mexico's reputation as a land that attracts because of its natural beauty not its artificial facade that not only hides but destroys Mexico's true nature for all generations to come!

Please exercise all of the power in your authority to stop the planned constructions on the Sea Turtle sanctuary known as Xcacel-Xcacelito. Please decree federal protected status for the turtle sanctuary and bordering regions of Playa Xcacel and Playa Xcacelito in Quintana Roo. We know that the national Commission of natural Protected Areas (CONANP) has completed and published studies in 2005 assigning sanctuary status for these world important 360 hectares of Xcacel and Xcacelito. We are asking for further protection extending from the reef west through the wetland jungle to the paralleling Highway 307. In addition to the endangered marine turtles who return annually solely to this beach to nest, this zone contains endangered mangroves and other endangered plants. This is of critical ecological importance not only to this region but also to Mexico and the international community. It is a RAMSAR protected site # 1351. It is also one of the last public undeveloped beaches for locals and tourists to enjoy.

For A Sustainable Future,

Alfredo Quarto,

Executive Director

Mangrove Action Project

POBox 1854

Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279


(360) 452-5866

Attn. Lic. Felipe Calderon
Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Presidencial de los Pinos
Puerto Central, Primer Piso
Colonial San Miguel Chapultepec
Mexico, DF CP 11850
Tel: 555-522-4117

cc: Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada
Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)
Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources
Lateral de Anillo Periférico Sur 4209, 6 Piso
Fraccionamiento Jardines de la Montana
Delegación Tlalpan
México, DF CP 14210
Tel: 555-628-0602
Fax: 555-628-0643

Lic. Mauricio Limón Aguirre

Subsecretario de Gestión para la Protección Ambiental

Tel: 555-624-3544 o 5

Fax: 555-624-3680


Félix González Canto
Gobierno del Estado de Quintana Roo
Governor of the State of Quintana Roo

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blatant destruction of Mangroves Comments

Below is the text message we received from one of our readers on May 13, 2010

I am writing about another instance of ongoing Mangrove destruction. This is happening in Dahisar a western suburb of Mumbai. Approximately 50 acres of Mangroves are being destroyed currently by the construction of a road that will completely surround this area. Another 400 odd acres are under threat. My purpose is to bring this issue to as public and powerful a platform as I can, to try and save the Mangroves, even though it may already be too late.
The current crisis has arisen as a direct fallout of the Supreme Court of India's order allowing some old disused 'bunds' to be repaired. In its order the Court has stipulated that the height of the 'bunds' should not be raised and the repair should be carried out without any damage to the Mangroves. Armed with this permission from the highest Legal authority in the country, and in the guise of repairing the 'bunds', close to a thousand truck loads of construction debris and excavation debris is being dumped in the mangroves. A 60 ft road is being created to completely surround the mangroves and Mangroves have been cut. This has all been documented by members of a local residents forum and a local conservationist and environmental activist. Appeals to local authorities have thus far yielded nothing but lip-service. We believe that politicians, the police, the civil service have all been paid off. For close to three weeks 50-75 trucks a day have been dumping debris.
Local residents now face the threat of police arrest if we venture into the mangroves because they are private land and we can be charged with tresspassing. However, the destruction of the mangroves keeps happening and no one can be charged for breaking laws in place to protect them.
I would like to know if there is some way this organisation can help us in highlighting this issue and putting pressure on the government. Let me know and accordingly I can have someone write a well written article
Thank You.