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Media Contacts: Keith Dawson
British Virgin Islands Tourist Board
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Catherine van Kampen
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Governor, Trustees of the BVI National Parks, USA
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Jean-Michel Cousteau, George Plimpton, Robert Ginsburg, Zale Parry
Praise Dr. Richard Murphy’s New Book, Coral Reefs, Cities Under the
November 18, 2002, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands…Why do
parrotfish eat algae and grind up coral? They’re making sand. One parrotfish
can make over 300 lbs of sand in a year. Who needs tube sponges? One mature
sponge can purify 200,000 gallons of water in one year. What does a parrotfish
population do when it has too many females? Simple, some of the females turn
How do dentists advertise in the undersea coral world? Simple, the “dentist,”
a small wrasse, uses its distinctive color as a “sign” to attract
business. Did you know that “snapping shrimp” use an underwater
sonic wave to stun their prey?
All of us have admired the beauty of coral reefs and the wonderful creatures
that populate them. Dr. Richard Murphy’s new book, Coral Reefs, Cities
Under the Sea, tells the story of that undersea world in a fascinating, accessible
manner, which makes young and old alike want to fuss over preserving this
George Plimpton, author and editor, seems to agree: “This book is so
brilliantly beautiful and informative,” Plimpton says, “one only
wishes for scuba gear to become part of Dr. Murphy’s coral reefs.”
Murphy, Director of Science and Education for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s
Ocean Futures Society, spent twenty-six years working directly with legendary
Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel’s father. He has scuba dived in over thirty
countries. Coral Reefs, Cities Under the Sea, released this fall, uses extraordinary
pictures, all taken by Dr. Murphy, and clearly understandable human analogies
to tell the “personal” stories of the corals and other living
creatures Dr. Murphy has seen.
Dr. Murphy lets you ease-drop on the funny, cranky, terrifying world of a
coral reef, and the lessons we learn on the reefs translate directly to the
quality of our own lives. “The focus of this book,” Dr. Murphy
says, “is on how a coral reef functions: the jobs of individual residents
and how they collectively create a sustainable community.”
“People do not exist outside the domain of nature,” says Jean-Michel
Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society (www.oceanfutures.org). “Dr.
Murphy’s book makes us realize that everything is connected in the ocean
world, as in the rest of the world. We are all part of nature, and inseparable
from it. Our well-being,” Cousteau continues, “is linked to the
health of our environment.”
“Here is a scientist you can understand,” Mr. Cousteau concludes,”
who relates the extraordinary life of a coral reef to the readers’ own
quality of life.” For instance, Dr. Murphy shows how solar energy is
used to power the reef; he shows you there is no “waste” in a
coral community—everything is recycled. He shows the reader that biodiversity
helps create a sustainable community.
Robert N. Ginsburg, Professor of Marine Geology, Rosensteil School of Marine
and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, commented on Coral Reefs, Cities
Under the Sea, stating, “The book is a most unusual hybrid, part reef
textbook, part entertainment, educational and awe-inspiring. I can only hope
that this volume receives the attention it deserves and that it will be in
libraries worldwide to dazzle, inspire and inform.”
“Oceans of blessings Coral Reefs, Cities Under the Sea, for its moving,
intelligent explanation of the mysteries of coral reefs. Dr. Richard Murphy
eloquently conveys his exhilaration and excitement of science, the challenge
of adventure and the search for preservation in this book. It offers thought
provoking, wise and amusing comparisons of life in coral reefs to life in
London, New York, or any other city you may know. Coral Reefs is a gift to
all generations who love nature and wish to preserve its beauty,” said
Zale Parry, pioneer diver, historian, actress, author and ocean advocate.
“I believe reef communities exist in a dynamic equilibrium where forces
of competition, destruction, and decay are balanced by cooperation, repair,
and rejuvenation,” Murphy says.
Coral Reefs, Cities Under The Sea, is a landmark book because it combines
dramatic and beautiful pictures with the real “inside story” of
life on a reef. Coral Reefs, Cities Under The Sea is available online at Amazon.com.
Dr. Murphy is the developer of a groundbreaking eight-week environmental
seminar being taught at British Virgin Islands High School in Tortola, BVI.
He is also Chief Marine Consultant to The Trustees of the British Virgin Islands
National Parks, USA, an international group of environmentally conscientious
individuals working on highlighting the unique natural treasures of the BVI.
Information on the Trustees work can be found on the Internet at www.bviTrustees.org.
Dr. Murphy is additionally a consultant to the new Marine Center at H. Lavitty
Stoutt Community College on Tortola, and is a frequent lecturer in the British
For further information, please contact Remar Sutton by telephone at 404-229-5094
or via email at email@example.com.
For remote radio phone-ins or to interview Dr. Murphy, email him at Rmurphy000@aol.com
(0=zero) or telephone 831-458-2437. Pictures available upon request.
For further information on the BVI National Parks Trust visit www.bvinationalparks.org
or www.bviTrustees.org. For information on the British Virgin Islands, visit
www.bvitouristboard.com or call
1-800-835-8530 and speak with a BVI specialist.