The Remarkable Reefs Of Cuba: Hopeful Stories From the Ocean Doctor

The Remarkable Reefs Of Cuba: Hopeful Stories From the Ocean Doctor

by David E. Guggenheim
The Remarkable Reefs Of Cuba: Hopeful Stories From the Ocean Doctor

The Remarkable Reefs Of Cuba: Hopeful Stories From the Ocean Doctor

by David E. Guggenheim


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Since 1970, the Caribbean has lost half of its coral reefs, an ominous and accelerating phenomenon that extends around the world. Beyond the unfathomable heartbreak of the loss of such exquisite beauty from the earth, coral’s loss represents the annual loss of billions of dollars from the global economy and the end of a way of life for billions that depend on these ecosystems. Marine scientist and conservation leader Dr. David E. Guggenheim has had a front-row seat to this disaster. But when he began a new chapter of his career in Cuba, he found something completely unexpected: hope. After years and years of watching reefs deteriorate, Guggenheim was astonished to come face-to-face with Cuba's remarkably healthy coral reefs overflowing with fish and other marine life. The Remarkable Reefs of Cuba reveals the hidden potential that Cuba’s reefs may contain for the reefs of the world. While the past 60 years have seen the worst decline in ocean health in human history, Cuba’s oceans and coral reefs remain remarkably healthy, a living laboratory never-before-seen by this generation of scientists. Which begs the question: why are Cuba’s ocean waters so healthy? The answer is deeply intertwined with the country’s extraordinary and singularly unique history, from its dramatic political past to its world-class environmental protections influenced by an unlikely partner, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. This buoyant book tells the story of the demise of the world’s ocean ecosystems, the hard work of those desperately trying to save it, and an unexpected beacon of hope from an island full of mystery and surprises.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633887800
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 10/01/2022
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,092,094
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David E. Guggenheim, PhD is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer, submarine pilot and educator. He is the founder and president of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization Ocean Doctor, dedicated to advancing the conservation of the world’s oceans through research, education and community engagement. Guggenheim is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches Ocean Sustainability. He was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow in 2008. Guggenheim makes frequent speaking and television and radio appearances, having appeared on 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, PBS Newshour and NPR. Guggenheim previously served as Vice President at The Ocean Conservancy, President & CEO of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, co-chair of the Everglades Coalition and president of the Friends of Channel Islands National Park. He also served as board chair of the Great Whale Conservancy.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Prologue xiii

Part 1 Coral's Last Stand

Chapter 1 Spineless 3

The Shark Pit 3

Halo Makers 7

Finding Ground Zero 9

Death Blow 14

An Island of Hope? 15

Chapter 2 The Comandante and the Captain 16

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau 16

The Letter 18

Cousteau's Cuban Legacy 19

Chapter 3 Look Small 23

The Scream 23

Cradled in the Bosom of the Waters 25

Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable? 27

Chapter 4 The Corals Time Forgot 30

Dreadlocks in the Deep 30

Beneath the Deadliest Catch 32

Chapter 5 The Princess and the Pea 37

Mission to Mars 37

One Fussy Invertebrate 39

Disaster in Slo-Mo 39

The Evil Twin 44

Gift from the Sahara 46

A Pox on Your House 46

The U.S. Invasion of Cuba 47

The 50-Year-Old Rolodex 51

You Can Look, but You Better Not Touch 54

Where a Great Civilization Once Stood 55

Chapter 6 OMG, I Thought You Were Dead 57

Paraiso 57

Part 2 Accident of History

Chapter 7 May I Order Beef? 63

Because There Is None 63

A Distant Wall 64

An Island Hungry and Adrift 65

Chapter 8 A River on Fire, a River of Grass 71

The River That Sparked a Revolution 71

Nixon, the Tree Hugger 74

Amber Waves of Green 75

Amber Waves of Grain 78

Chicken Shit 79

River of Grass 80

Chapter 9 It's Not Easy Being Green 91

Not One Drop to the Sea 91

Return of the Ox and the Machete 95

Hot Town, Farming in the City 97

Take Me to the River 98

The Salad Fork in the Road 102

Part 3 Forbidden Fruit, Forbidding Politics

Chapter 10 The Man with the Silver Briefcase 107

High Tea with the Queen 107

Mr. Bush, Tear Down This Wall 110

Chapter 11 The Work of a Giant 118

Spanruslish 118

The White Hurricane 119

No Es Facil 123

The New Cubans 124

Bittersweet, the Forbidden Fruit 126

Dead Things in Jars 132

Part 4 Time Travel

Chapter 12 In Search of Cinderella 137

Uncharted Waters 137

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat 140

Where Are We Going? 144

Beware Cinderella 145

Counting Benjamins 146

Departure 147

Siren's Call 149

Radio Play 151

Taxi! 152

Chapter 13 Don't Say "Harvest" 153

Pooping Coral 153

We Got It Wrong 157

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel 161

Protecting Fish-and Everything Else 162

Chapter 15 Columbus and the Queen 164

Race to Jardines 164

The Shark Whisperer 166

Has Anyone Checked Anderson's Air? 170

Think Globally, Act Locally 172

Tragedy of the Commons 173

Paper Parks 174

Big Old Fat, Fecund Females 175

Fresh Off the Boat 177

Chapter 15 Columbus and the Invisible Island 181

The Invisible Island 181

Ministry Versus Ministry 182

Undersea Orgies 183

How Much Is That Coral in the Window? 185

From Columbus to Castro 188

Part 5 Señior, the World is about to Change

Chapter 16 Taking It to the Streets 191

A New Era 191

Chapter 17 The Hangover 194

Cuba Autentica 194

How the Hell Do You Translate "Spring Break"? 196

Opportunities for Cuba 197

Part 6 Land of Hope and Dreams

Chapter 18 Hope Amid Mayhem 203

Master of Disaster 203

The Arrogance of the Present 204

Cuba's Living Lifeboat 206

Adapting to Hot Water 208

The Whale Whisperer 208

Game Face 214

Chapter 19 Saltwater Diplomats 216

The Blueprint 216

The Scrap of Paper 219

Generations 221

Epilogue 222

Acknowledgments 225

Bibliography 231

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