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Resolved: The USFG should increase construction of mineral accretion coral reefs in the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,094 times Debate No: 67026
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
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In this debate we will simply examine wether the USFG should implement Artificial Coral reefs on its coast lines.

We will debate on the standard and accepted rules:

1.)silence is compliance and dropping an argument or responding to it after the point when rebuttals starts means that you concede.

2.)Disadvantages must be run, and arguments made in an orderly fashion, they must be labeled as any of the following: Offcase arguments, Disadvantages, tradeoffs, counter plans, k's, theory arguments...and the like.

3.) You must label all of your claims in an obvious manner so that the opposition can easily see what arguments there are to counter, however you do not have to inform them of what they have conceded until rebuttals begin.

I hope to see you on the battlefield of intellect, here are my opening arguments:


a.) Research published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, point out that coral declines are reaching crisis proportions: Astro Biology Magazine 12
"Coral abundance in the Caribbean Sea has gone down about 80 percent in the past 30-40 years, and about one-third of the corals around the world are threatened with extinction,"

b.) Misconceptions about reef resilience are stopping large scale coral initiatives now: Goreau 5 Ph.D in Biogeochemestry and President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance
threats from globally rising temperatures are found everywhere. Corals are in no way resilient to such stresses, and the confusion caused by claiming that resilience to small-scale, short-term stresses, confers resistance to continually increasing global stresses, has effectively baffled policymakers about the effects of human activities on coral reefs.

the plan:
The United States federal government should substantially increase its development of artificial coral reefs on U.S. coastlines through the use of mineral accretion.
-The plan will take place on all feasible costal states: (California, Louisiana, Texas, South Caronlina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine) are all up for consideration
-The total cost of the plan will be $225,000,000 funded through Congressional passage
- This funding allows for 49,515 mi of reef development, the coast of the US is 60,218mi excluding Alaska thus we will provide protection to about 82% of our shoreline cities
We will exclude any regions which are inaccessible, unusable or infeasible.
We develop these reefs anywhere between 12 to 30 miles off of the coastline
The reefs will be placed in a baffled form in order to preserve normal ocean wave patterns
The Affirmative team observes the right to define all terms and clarify our case as necessary

Advantage 1- Storm Surges and Hurricanes

a.) Hurricanes exacerbate suffering and lead to needless deaths " decimates basic human rights: Clinical professor of law at Berkeley University 2005
natural disasters, make vulnerable populations even more vulnerable. Disasters wipe out the investment and savings of economic actors, leaving them unable to reestablish their livelihoods. a tsunami leads to destruction of identity papers and makes it impossible for survivors to receive aid, secure employment, obtain health care, and receive inheritance Women and children, are at risk of exploitation, without the safety net of family and community to protect them

b.) The Average cost of a hurricane is between 1.8 and 9 billion dollars: Accuweather 11
$1.8 billion is the average amount of damage caused by an Atlantic hurricane in the United States. The median cost is the most accurate measure of a hurricane at close to $9 billion.

c.)Most hurricanes strike Florida and Texas: NOAA Hurricane Research Division 2013
on average, close to seven hurricanes every four years strike the United States, Eighty-eight percent of Major hurricanes strikes have hit either Florida or Texas

d.) A new study finds that coral reefs reduce the wave energy that would otherwise impact coastlines by 97 percent: United States Geological survey
"Coral reefs serve as an effective first line of defense to incoming waves, storms and rising seas," said Dr. Michael Beck, lead marine scientist of The Nature Conservancy and a co-author of the study

Advantage 2 Pharmaceuticals

a.) Coral reefs key to new developments in medicine"chemical compounds are already showing major advances: NOAA 11
the identification of beneficial chemical compounds found in coral ecosystems is termed bioprospecting and has been common in terrestrial environments for decades. bioprospecting is relatively new in the marine environment and is nowhere close to realizing its full potential. Creatures found are important sources of new medicines being developed to induce and ease birth labor; treat cancer, arthritis, asthma, ulcers, human bacterial infections, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases

b.) Doctors develop Cancer-curing drugs from Sea Sponges from Coral reefs:
Caron 12:
Stephanie Wear describes the reefs as the "New York City" of the oceans, "where everything is happening," because it is 400 to 600 times more likely to find a source for a drug in the ocean than on land. But climate change threatens the sea life that house these healing properties. "The coral reef population is diminished by about 80-90 percent across the Caribbean. scientists hope put out corals in order to battle some of the worst diseases known to humankind like: cancer, leukemia, AIDS Lupus, Alzheimer"s, and Parkinson"s. Arden O'Connor, a 34-year-old who lives in Boston,, beat leukemia with help from Ara-C, a chemotherapy drug derived from sea sponges that thrive in the coral reefs. Halaven, another drug also derived from sea sponge and has improved survival rates among women who have metastatic breast cancer."In order to make this natural product a drug by synthesis, we would require over 60 steps," "the typical drug which can be found in reefs is produced in 10 steps or less.

c.) Coral reefs offer a unique protein to prevent the spread of HIV:
Lamontagne, Member of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2014
Researchers have discovered a new class of proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T-cells, this protein appears to block HIV infection"and to do it in a completely new way. there is a pressing need for anti-HIV microbicides. the proteins block HIV transmission without encouraging the virus to become resistant to other HIV drugs.The research team tested their activity against laboratory strains of HIV. The proteins proved astonishingly potent, capable of blocking HIV at concentrations of a billionth of a gram by preventing the first step in HIV transmission, in which the virus must enter a type of immune cell known as the T-cell."We found that cnidarians bind to the virus and prevent it from fusing with the T-cell membrane.

d. HIV is the world"s leading infectious killer- without a way to stop infections, millions will continue to die: World Health Organization:
35.3 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS HIV is the world"s leading infectious killer and 36 million people have died since the first cases were reported in 1981, an estimated 3.34 million children worldwide are living with HIV and Over 700 children become newly infected with HIV each day.


b. Artificial reefs become enhanced versions of any other natural reef ecosystem in the world:
Provenzani, member of the Global Underwater Explorers association

artificial reefs act as a natural rocky bottom, providing living space for a new reef community. What was once "artificial" now becomes a progressively intensifying natural reef ecosystem.

c. Mineral accretion coral reefs are extremely tough and are impervious to factors such as sea rise, making them the only option to solve
Global Coral Alliance,
Warming has caused significant reef mortality. oceans will continue to warm, and therefore rise, until world leaders recognize the long-term consequences of turning a blind eye to the problem. Governments have tried to address the problem by building sea walls out of concrete, steel, coral rubble or sand bags. But these materials soon rust, corrode, collapse and need to be rebuilt. In contrast only reefs made by mineral accretion can provide permanent, cost-effective protection capable of keeping pace with rising global sea levels. Mineral accretion coral reef growth rates, are about 3 to 5 times faster than normal coral reefs.

Here are each card's websites in order:, 7/1/14, JW)




The flow of the debate will be as follows:

Inherencies with the plan


DA – Cost

DA – Fails to protect states

DA – Blocks ships


The affirmative fails to provide an agent of action, merely claiming that they will substantially increase investment in the use of mineral accretion. In addition, they fail to say who will enforce the execution of this project and the source of this funding. Without these three critical parts, the plan cannot move forward as there is no assignment to any department in the United States Federal Government to begin work on this plan.

DA – Cost

The median cost for building artificial breakwaters is USD $19,791 per meter, compared to $1,290 per meter for coral reef restoration projects.

U.S. Department of the Interior

The affirmative is using faulty calculations according to their own evidence. The con will break down the actual cost of construction according to the Affirmative’s evidence. The first step is the conversion of the miles that the plan calls for to meters. This results in a calculation of 49,515 miles being equal to 79,686,668 meters. After that the con multiplied the converted number by the cost per meter to achieve a final number of 1,577,078,846,338 or One Trillion –five hundred and seventy seven Billion – seventy eight million – eight hundred and forty six thousand – three hundred and thirty eight dollars. This is exponentially higher than the affirmatives claim of a mere 225 million dollars.


The site provides a relatively simple breakdown of the US budget which is 17,704.4 billion dollars or 17.704 trillion dollars. The actual cost of this plan is roughly 9 percent of the entire federal budget. The Con requires that the Affirmative fulfill their burden of proof in showing that the government can take this absolutely staggering blow. The Affirmative is charged with providing the source of this money as this cannot be ignored.

Furthermore, let’s compare this cost to the Average cost per hurricane provided by the Affirmative. It would take slightly over 175 hurricanes that do 9 billion dollars in damage a piece to justify the cost of this enormous project.

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2014

Kristen Rodman – May 18, 2014

With roughly 10 named tropical storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes predicted for the Atlantic Basin this season,'s long-range forecasting team anticipates two storms, either tropical storms or hurricanes, to make landfall in the United States.

With the 2014 year being so inactive and NOAA showing that there has been 60 hurricanes per 100 years, it will be over 200 years before this plan generates a net-profit. The Affirmative must justify this long term investment in the face of technological advances out dating their plan.

DA – Fails to protect states

Mississippi, Alabama, Oregon, Washington, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Hawaii. What do all of these states have in common? They’ve been hit by hurricanes and yet are not protected by the Affirmative plan. As the Affirmative failed to clarify the exclusion of these places, it must be assumed that they have been unintentionally left out and therefore will suffer the consequences of this ill written plan.

DA – Blocks ships

A U.S. Navy container ship remained stuck on a coral reef near Okinawa for a second day Friday.
January 23, 2015 – Frances Burns

Coral reefs block ship movement. Ships trying to cross them, as proven by my evidence, get grounded and are even damaged.

Agricultural exports in 2013 amounted to 320 billion dollars and supported over one million jobs.

This proves that Ocean trade is important historically, presently and in to the future. This plan would destroy US trade which, in 2000, shipped 736 billion dollars in that single year. Compared to the cost of the plan and the long term investment required to get anything out if it, it’s apparent that the economically destructive artificial coral reefs blocking shipping cannot be justified.

In summary, the face value cost of the plan is staggering. That’s not even including billions of dollars in lost trade as ships cannot make it to other countries, being pinned in by the new reefs. Lastly, the plan fails to protect all states that are actually hit by hurricanes, bringing in to question as to states with major population centers such as New York are not covered. This plan requires elaboration and revision in order to give it a chance of consideration.

Debate Round No. 1


TheJuniorVarsityNovice forfeited this round.


This round has been declared a scratch, please refer to the comments for more information.
Debate Round No. 2


Please dont vote on this, as agreed by both parties involved. There should be a second match available for those who would like to vote on this
Debate Round No. 3


For those interested, the new version of this debate is through this link.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
haha, looks like were all good : J
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
Scratch that, you're already on the same line of thought as I am.
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
Sounds good. We'll just go back and forth on this debate to start the voting period. When you make the new debate, would you mind linking it in the comments so I can get the email update on it?
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
No ya, I can totally do that, it will work out better for the both of us that way
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
If you don't mind extended response times, I can probably work on this at night. It just may end up being awhile between responses within the time constraints.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
are you sure, if so thats cool, but it sure would be an interesting match
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
I won't have the time for a new debate to be honest. Somewhat ironically this is convenient as my schedule is about to get very restricted.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
yes lets make this a scratch Ill rechallenge and you can accept if you would like
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
Hmm,scratch this round then or would you like to do something else?
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
Damn it. Sorry, things came up and I didnt have enough time to respond. I can respond now
No votes have been placed for this debate.