By Dean Jacobson (Contact)
To be delivered to: President Barack Obama
The FAA, in a series of airport improvement projects using local contractors, has unintentionally caused the mining of near-shore lagoon coral reefs as a source of fill; the local EPA has always approved or ignored this practice. For example, in 2008 a large reef was mined by PII (a local company) for the ARFF fire station project (pictures available on Flickr). The US is required to follow a higher environmental road, thanks to Bill Clinton's Executive Order 13089, which specifically requires protection of coral reefs even outside the US. Yet coral mining has again been approved, and may start within months, if local EPA approves it (for a second time) and if the US Embassy here in Majuro approves the local approval.
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