The psychiatrist, Jerry Weinstock, M.D.,
told me … He has lived, fished, dived and swam in and around Key West for decades. For a long time, he was Key West’s only psychiatrist. He had a full practice, no blank spots on his calendar. He probably treated every writer in Key West, when he was still in private practice. As far as he knows, the only people who ever got mad at him were people he could not give appointments when they wanted to get in to see him. He consulted at May Sands School’s challenged kids program. He was the School District’s psychiatrist on call. As a second calling, he became an ardent student and advocate for protecting the sea and the reef.
Sloan: Those elegant old trees in the trailer
park off Simonton street (45) are slated
be cut down—no agency to protect them
–some of the heart and soul of key West
rests with our beautiful trees–more condos UGH !!
Our charm is being shredded. The Citizen won’t
print this in the “voice”—–developers without
conscience or values are what Key West is
Even more bizarre, as you touched the other day, if a private citizen, who is not a developer, were to cut down a tree that size, he/she would be fined out the wazoo by the Tree Commission, and good dang luck a private citizen getting the Tree Commission’s permission to cut such a tree down, or even trim it, without paying out the wazoo. Sandy Downs pretty much convinced me the Tree Commission is applying developer rules against private landowners, who are not developers, and here we have the City Commission giving this developer permission to take down all of those old trees. Perhaps the developer will have to pay the city for the trees; I hope so, out the wazoo-squared. Although, my first choice is the developer suffers some kind of Act of God and is thereby dissuaded from taking down even one of those old trees, and further dissuaded from evicting any trailer dweller, and is further dissuaded from ever thinking about developing that piece of land, or any land, in Key West, or in the Florida Keys. Maybe a hex is in order, too. I’ll had to see if I can remember how to do that from that life when I did whatever awful things I did to lead to me having this life.
Sloan: beautifully stated—the hypocrisy here
smells like raw sewage—-I am so over
this developer “crap” —if he go hit by
a bus —-my sensitivity is so far gone
a celebration would be in order.
meanwhile several of our friends
struggle with BIG C and the stuff out
of the Cruise ships with that barbaric
cheapest diesel is loaded with carcinogens
being sprayed all over us !! —
I am raw—–Jerry
And, from Reef Relief’s Facebook page [Peter Anderson now is Chairman of the Board of Reef Relief, DeeVon Quirolo was a co-founder of Reef Relief].
Peter Anderson Cruise ships do not dump raw sewage into the sea anymore, Janet. Reef Relief and many others made them change those habits years and years ago.
DeeVon Quirolo Not so. The cruise ship industry made a big deal about agreeing to go to secondary treatment–settling the solids and adding chlorine ON NEW SHIPS ONLY; but they will still dump the highly concentrated liquids overboard and this will at best eventually include only a small fraction of the cruise ships on the high seas. The worst part is that they dump outside the reef tract on their way to Key West from Port Everglades.
The Everglades are thrilled to have this unholy place named after them
DeeVon wrote to me:
The current situation is that cruise ships routinely dump thousands of gallons of partially treated concentrated waste in the ocean outside of the reef on their way to Key West from Port Everglades. They run just outside the reef to avoid the offshore counter current of the Gulfstream, which is why the Area to be Avoided was established by the International Maritime Organization to keep them far enough off critical areas where many large ships ran aground the reef. When I was on the Cruise Ship Task Force for the City, we tried running a sample of cruise ship waste through the sewage treatment plant, but it was so anoxic that it would have shut down the anerobic action of the plant by depleting all the oxygen needed. Plus it was in salt, not fresh water, so that was an additional negative factor that reduced the potential for the biological treatment that is employed at the plant.
All the best, DeeVon
The reef and the cruise ship industry should sleep very well at night knowing they have Peter Anderson looking after their best diametrically-opposed interests.
Peter Anderson is committed to conservation or just plain
truth as an elephant can fly.——–that’s kind—Jerry
Also from Jerry:
Sloan: surely right now the book I am writing
concerns what we have lost in the
natural environment since I came here
in 1956 and stayed in a cottage on
Little Torch –that project–writing is all-
consuming, now. The article I wrote for Mark
Howell sums up the biology of the devastating
effects of silt—that was 9 years ago.
We happen to be the most SHALLOW harbor
on this planet–totally not appropriate for
Cruise ships—”Light is Life”–that article
spells out the basic biology–and the Cruise
ships damage and destroy the marine environment
and the air quality—-they are demonic for what we
cherish; the article LIGHT IS LIFE spells it out,
in detail —scientifically, it is fact. now I must
devote my time to completing my book–that
chronicles the immense negative changes.—-Jerry
Light is Life – the Menace of Cruise Ships, authored by Jerrold Weinstock, was published in Solares Hill on 4/1/2004. It has been republished here with the permission of the author:
Light is life — The menace of cruise ships
The value and beauty of our living coral barrier reef, home to a myriad of sea creatures and the anchor of an entire ecosystem, cannot be overstated. Diving and fishing experiences offer excitement, enchantment and an aesthetic unique in our country. Commercial tropical fish collecting has flourished, as well as lobstering.
The living reef is a vital barrier to wave erosion and storm surge. We may, in fact, owe our security and even our very existence to its solid wall of protection. Yet we are allowing this critical part of our heritage to be systematically assaulted, poisoned and weakened to a point that, continuing down this slippery slope, the prognosis will be biological death.
Concerned and responsible civic and business leaders, as well as our ecologically sensitive organizations, have repeatedly warned of the dangers that cruise ships — floating cities — represent. Churning and crowding into our shallow, clear tropical waters in incredible numbers, each one discharges volumes of waste. This is alarming, but consider some basic biology that I will explain, and the threat goes up a notch to terrifying.
An understanding of relevant core science is necessary to clarify and comprehend the dire distress being inflicted on the ecosystem of which the living coral reef is an integral component.
Basically, the chain of life in our surrounding ocean starts with phytoplankton, the microscopic algae that possess chloroplasts. These, with the assistance of chlorophyll, energy from the sun and carbon dioxide, synthesize nutrient and expel oxygen. They give us life — the 21 percent of oxygen we must have in the air we breathe — [and] photosynthesis, this magical process that green plants on dry land participate in [that] produces the fundamental basis of our food chain.
The basic unit of life in reef-forming corals is the soft-bodied small polyp, a carnivore that secretes a hard calcareous skeleton around itself; colonies of these produce the living reef. Within the endodermal cells of the polyp live, in symbiosis — an intimate beneficial relationship — chloroplastic algae. These produce necessary nutrients along with other functions crucial to the health of the polyp. This living arrangement needs sunlight; the conversion of the light to energy powers the entire process.
Coral can only live in shallow, well-illuminated, clear tropical water. …
Back to the cruise ships, which are propelled along by huge props deep down, as you might guess from the depth of the drafts. I have tracked these vessels in my boat as they approach the reef line [and] then into, usually, the Southeast Channel.
The wash that is stirred up is dense, dismal, gray, opaque sediment — the width of which can vary with wind, currents and tidal stage — but does average almost as wide as a football field, as near as I can assess. The amount of sediment is awesome, I can state firsthand.
Eddies and currents then disseminate clouds of this dark, opaque material down or up the reef line and the Hawk Channel. This compromises, filters and blocks light into affected waters. Obscuring sunlight in our shallow tropical sea affects one vital element in coral health: clarity.
Obscuring the sunlight and polluting the waters is bringing the entire reef system into profound distress. When I first swam here in 1956, visibility was virtually unlimited. That is no more.
Stressed sufficiently by clouds of sediment and untold thousands of gallons of pollutants, the coral polyp will extrude its symbiont, and without this partnership, the animal will die. The reef structure will erode [and] break down, and with no new growth and repair and replacement, it will gradually crumble. Gone is our protection and the bulwark of an entire ecosystem; an irreplaceable part of quality of life for us humans.
Rampaging, uncontrolled, irresponsible wildcat cruise boat operations are bringing short-term profits to a small fraction of the business community.
This mismanagement could be replaced by a stewardship mentality, an ethic to preserve and care for our heritage, our ecosystem, a treasure to be cherished, not wantonly destroyed. An expert advisory board could be summoned by our commissioners, consisting of specialists [and] scientists familiar with these problems, to advise them. It well may be inappropriate for cruise ships of this size and draft to ply our shallow sensitive waters, except by rationing numbers, size and frequency.
With bleaching degrading most of the coral reefs worldwide due to climate change, a few reefs have maintained their integrity because of cooler currents and virtually no stressors. Key West is positioned in such a manner — with some cooler influences; dynamics that favor preservation, regrowth and repair — if managed with wisdom. Coral reefs are one of the wonders of this planet. Preservation would favor and promote ecotourism and the entire business community would share immensely, into perpetuity.
With informed and aroused community leaders, and our very fine conservation organizations that appreciate ecotourism over cruise ship mentality, an alliance could be formed. With environmental attorneys, an injunction stopping cruise ship operations until an impact study could be formulated and a rational approach hammered and compromised out is a possibility should no other solution be arrived at.
Long-term stewardship with an environmental ethic versus mismanagement and destruction — without doubt, future generations will look back upon and judge, despairingly or gratefully, the fate of their heritage. Once destroyed, that heritage of incredible biodiversity cannot be brought back.
Jerrold J. Weinstock, M.D., psychiatry, retired
Member Biological Honor Society (Beta Beta Beta)