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Tropic news. Volume 8. Issue 11.

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 8. Issue 11.
Series Title:
Tropic news
Creator:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publisher:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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TROPIC NEWS


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL
N RESOURCES
August/September 1996


Something to think about:
TSUNAMI

"Next Caribbean what?" you may ask? Tsunami, the
seismic sea wave created when an earthquake occurs, a
volcano erupts, or there's a submarine landslide, is an
all too common worldwide event. "Tsunami" is a Japa-
nese word that is loosely translated "harbor wave or
seiche" based on the oriental experience from such
devastating rushes of sea water. While most tsunamis
which occur are observed in the Pacific and Indian
Oceans, the Atlantic has its share. These destructive
ocean surface waves are known to run upland in excess
of 100meters (300 feet), and to cause thousands of
deaths. Sometimes tsunamis are called "tidal waves",
but that is a misnomer; they are not associated.with the
regular ebb and flow of daily tides, but are caused by
unpredictable, instantaneous phenomena as mentioned
above.
Now, is it really a "Wider Caribbean Region" threat?
Well, yes! Very destructive tsunamis occurred in the
Virgin Islands in 1692, 1755, 1761, 1842, 1867, 1918,
and 1946; scores of smaller ones are in the record too.
Wave surges associated with our tsunamis are not as
great as the Pacific and Indian Ocean events, but some
typical numbers are 4-7 meters (13-23 feet) in several
fully documented cases. This is larger than the largest
recorded hurricane-generated storm surge.
What makes it worse is to couple the tsunamis threat
with our population growth. Since 1867, the year of the
great Virgin Island tsunami, the population of the
Caribbean area has increased from about 3 million to
about 30 million persons, most of whom have chosen to
live near the coast. Imagine the 1867 tsunami's 5 meter
(17 foot) high wave crashing into Charlotte Amalie
harbor today, without warning, with a 10-fold plus
higher population density, while three cruise ships and
several fuel barges are in harbor, and two tourist-laden
jets are waiting for takeoff at the St. Thomas airport!
It's all too real.
What should you do? The main characteristic of an
impending Tsunami would be the rapid receding of the
water at the coastline.The correct action to take would
be to immediately move away from the coast; travel
inland as far as possible. Oldtimers who experienced the
Tsunami of 1867 said, people lost their lives trying to
gather the fish at the shoreline when the sea receded.
Being knowledgeable about this rare occurence can
avoid loss of lives if this simple procedure is followed.

Taken from: George A. Maul "IOCARIBE TSUNAMI
WORKSHOP", Florida Institute of Technology.


_ I II


DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Volume 8 Number 11/12


The Value of a Tree

The determination of value
in our society is truly arbi-
trary. Sometimes it follows
the rule of demand and sup-
ply; sometimes the decision is
made on the basis of cost-
benefit ratio; but in many --
cases no standard rules exist.
Sometimes we remain totally blind, particularly
with regard to the value of natural resources the
value of a tree is one of them.
When we estimate the value of a tree, we only
count the total weight and the quality
of timber or fruit or biomass that can be
sold in the market. But all of these
together really reflect only about 0.3%
of the real value of a tree. Other com-
modities that are produced by the tree,
or other benefits that are being derived
from the tree by our society, are totally
overlooked. If we count these items at
current market prices, the value of a
tree will increase more than 300 times.
A few of a tree's overlooked values include:
Production of oxygen
Beautification of landscapes, homes and busi
nesses
Natural air conditioning in the form of shade
Controlling of soil erosion and maintaining of
soil fertility
Recycling of water and controlling humidity
Sheltering and feeding of birds and other
animals and
Controlling of air pollution
So, the real value of a 50 ton medium tree, by
calculating the items it produces and benefit it
renders during 50 year lifetime, will come to over
half a million dollars!


"Were we to search for a single mechanism to preserve soil
fertility; percolate water evenly through the seasons, andso prevent
floods, erosion, anddrought; release atmospheric water; store
atmospheric carbon; cleanse the air; moderateglobat temperature
and climatic balance; beautify the terrain, andsupport a varied
fauna and flora none could befound to serve better than a tree.'
(Tronical RainfnrPac








It Makes A Difference
The Starfish Parable
A mid- westerner was
vacationing on the New
England coast. One morn-
ing, very early, she was
walking along the beach--
the sun was still below the
horizon, the rain had
ended, the sea was calm,
and a rainbow bridged the
blue Atlantic with the green shoreline. While
enjoying the beauty about her, she glanced down
the beach and saw the lone figure of a man silhou-
etted against the sea. He skipped and frolicked as
if performing a ritual dance to celebrate the dawn.
Fascinated, she moved closer. As she approached,
she realized the young man was not dancing -- he
was, with graceful and joyous movements, picking
up objects and tossing them into the sea. Soon she
realized the objects were starfish.
"Why are you throwing starfish into the sea?"

"The tide is going out and if they are still here
when the sun rises they will die." And without
breaking his rhythm he continued tossing them out
to the sea.

"That's ridiculous! There are thousands of miles
of beach and millions of starfish. You can't really
believe that what you are doing could possibly
make a difference!"
He smiled, bent over and picked up another
starfish, paused thoughtfully, and remarked as he
tossed it into the waves, It makes a difference to
this one."


Fresh Water Habitats of the V. I. Poster

Our newest poster
in the Habitats of the
V. I. series is now
f available at the Divi-
sion offices in Red-
hook and Frederik-
sted, St. Croix. Once
^*_f3 again, local artist,
,_ Theresa "Red" Fisher
has captured the
essence of this unique
habitat. The scene
depicts fresh water
shrimp feeding on the
gut bottom, a water hyacinth blooming on the
surface and the Little Blue Heron searching the
water for its next meal, just to name a few of the
species found in a fresh water gut. This poster is
the eighth in the Environmental Education Pro-
gram series of Game Fish and Habitats of the
Virgin Islands. Since the production of the first
poster in 1993, they have become a very popular
educational tool. Copies can be found in offices,
schools and homes throughout the U. S. and Brit-
ish Virgin Islands, Atlanta, Montana, St. Kitts,
Antigua and Curacao. Our Miss V.I. even took sets
to all the contestants in the Miss World competi-
tion in South Africa. Future posters will illustrate
Seabirds and Shorebirds of the Virgin Islands.
Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


This newsletter was funded by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
Fishery Management Council and the
Government of the VI.


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES

Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
6291 Estate Nazareth 101
St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.). (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V
PERMIT NO. 35


Address Correction Requested


a I




Full Text

PAGE 1

S .:.". ~ '.: ~ : "..""j; , DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF FISH AND Wll..DLIFE August/September 1996 Volume 8 Number 11/12 The Value ora Tree Something to think about: TSUNAMI . .,. ~ ~'" The determination of value in our society is truly arbitrary. Sometimes it follows the rule of demand and supply; sometimes the decision is made on the basis of costbenefit ratio; but in many _.cases no standard rules exist. ..".Sometimes we remain totally blind, particularly with regard to the value of natural resources the val ue of a tree is one of them. When we estimate the value of a tree, we only count the total weight and the quality of timber or fruit or biomass that can be sold in the market. But all of these I together really reflect only about 0.3% of the real value of a tree. Other commoditiesth~t are produced by the tree, or other benefi ts that are being derived from the tree by our society, are totally .. . overlooked. If we count these items at current market prices, the value of a tree will increase more than 300 times. A few of a tree's overlooked values include: Production of oxygen Beautification of landscapes, homes and busi nesses Natural air conditioning in the form of shade Controlling of soil erosion and maintaining of soil fertility Recycling of water and controlling humidity Sheltering and feeding of birds and other animals and Controlling of air pollution So, the real value of a 50 ton medium tree, by calculating the items it produces and benefit it renders during 50 year lifetime, will come to over half a million dollars! "Next Caribbean what?" you may ask? Tsunami, the seismic sea wave created when an earthquake occurs, a volcano erupts, or there's a submarine landslide, is an all too common worldwide event. "Tsunami" is a Japanese word that is loosely translated "harbor wave or seiche" based on the oriental experience from such devastating rushes of sea water. While most tsunamis which occur are observed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Atlantic has its share. These destructive ocean surface waves are known to run upland in excess of 100meters (300 feet), and to cause thousands of deaths. Sometimes tsunamis are called "tidal waves", but that is a misnomer; they are not associated. with the regular ebb and flow of daily tides, but are caused by unpredictable, instantaneous phenomena as mentioned above. Now, is it really a "Wider Caribbean Region" threat? Well, yes! Very destructive tsunamis occurred in the Virgin Islands in 1692, 1755, 1761, 1842, 1867, 1918, and 1946; scores of smaller ones are in the record too. Wave surges associated with our tsunamis are not as great as the Pacific and Indian Ocean events, but some typical numbers are 4-7 meters (13-23 feet) in several fully documented cases. This is larger than the largest recorded hurricane-generated storm surge. What makes it worse is to couple the tsunamis threat with our population growth. Since 1867, the year of the great Virgin Island tsunami, the population of the Caribbean area has increased from about 3 million to about 30 million persons, most of whom have chosen to live near the coast. Imagine the 1867 tsunami's 5 meter (17 foot) high wave crashing into Charlotte Amalie harbor today, without warning, with a 10-fold plus higher population density, while three cruise ships and several fuel barges are in harbor, and two tourist-laden jets are waiting for takeoff at the St. Thomas airport! It's all too real. What should you do? The main characteristic of an impending Tsunami would be the rapid receding of the water at the coastline. The correct action to take would be to immediately move away from the coast; travel inland as far as possible. Oldtimers who experienced the Tsunami of 1867 said, people lost their lives trying to gather the fish at the shoreline when the sea receded. Being knowledgeable about this rare occurence can avoid loss of lives if this simple procedure is followed. .'Were we to searcfi for a singCe wcfianism to preserve soil fertilityi percofate water even[y tfirougfi tfit seasons, and so prevent flooQs, erosion, ana arougfiti refease atmospfieric wateri store atmospfieric carDoni cfeanse tfit airi moaerate gfo6af temperature and c[imatic 6afancei 6eautify tfit terrain, and support a varied" fauna and flora . none couu 6e founa to serve 6etter tfian a tree.' CTronical RRinfnrpQt) Taken from: George A. Maul "IOCARIBE TSUNAMI WORKSHOP", Florida Institute of Technology.

PAGE 2

Fresh Water Habitats of the V. I. Po~ter Our newest poster in the Habitats of the V. I. series is now available at the Divi. I sian offices in Red. hook and Frederiksted, St. Croix. Once again. local artist, Theresa "Red" Fisher has captured the I essence of this unique ~ -~ J habitat. The scene depicts fresh water shrimp feeding on the gut bottom, a water hyacinth blooming on the surface and the Little Blue Heron searching the water for its next meal, just to name a few of the species found in a fresh water gut. This poster is the eighth in the Environmental Education Program series of Game Fish and Habitats of the Virgin Islands. Since the production of the first poster in 1993, they have become a very popular educational tool. Copies can be found in offices, schools and homes throughout the U. S. and British Virgin Islands, Atlanta, Montana, St. Kitts, Antigua and Curacao. Our Miss V.I. even took sets to allthe contestants in the Miss World competition in South Africa. Future posters will illustrate Seabirds and Shorebirds of the Virgin Islands. Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper ~ frrli , ~ ~~ -'--f ' ) .=--~ 7~~~:~~~ $ -~ '~3 ~~ (J) It Makes A Difference The Starfish Parable A midwesterner was vacationing on the New England coast. One morning, very early, she was walking along the beach-the sun was still below the horizon, the rain had ended, the sea was calm, ~ and a rainbow bridged the blue Atlantic with the green shoreline. While enjoying the beauty about her, she glanced down the beach and saw the lone figure of a man silhouetted against the sea. He skipped and frolicked as if performing a ritual dance to celebrate the dawn. Fascinated, she moved closer. As she approached, she realized the young man was not dancing -he was, with graceful and joyous mpvements, picking up objects and tossing them into the sea. Soon she realized the objects were starfish. "Why are you throwing starfish into the sea?" "The tide is going out and if they are still here when the sun rises they will die." And without breaking his rhythm he continued tossing them out to the se:i. "That's ridiculous! There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. You can't really believe 'that what you are doing could possibly make a difference!" He smiled, bent over and picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully, and remarked as he tossed it into the waves, "It makes a difference to this one." This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council and the Government of the VI. BULK RA1E U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOT1E AMALIE, V PERMIT NO. 3~ GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES ****** Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife 6291 Estate Nazareth 101 St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104 (809)775-6762 (ST. T .), (809)772-1955 (ST .X.) Address Correction Requested