Aug. 17, 2017

Minutes of the August 17, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes at 12:15 PM. Bill Kinnaird offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance. Bill Oppenheimer accompanied on the piano.
• The 100% attendance members were recognized. Twenty-eight members have perfect attendance records ranging from Ariel Chavez and Larry Sindel with two years to John Moses with thirty-four years.
• John Dukes announced that there would be a Board meeting immediately following today’s regular meeting.
• John Dukes announced that the new rosters were available to pick up after the meeting.
Program: Ben Raines, Author, Environmental Reporter,
Russell Ladd introduced Ben Raines.
Raines’ major topic of the day was the underwater forest located off of Gulf Shores in an undisclosed location. The forest was discovered by a local fisherman after Hurricane Ivan. It consists of Cypress and Oak tree stumps each as much as waist high that had been covered in sand approximately fifty eight feet below the surface. The fisherman had kept the discovery secret for several years before finally confiding in Raines and a couple of others. Given Raines’ vast knowledge and experience with matters environmental he recognized the importance of the discovery. Raines called in scientists to study the find.
Through several years of research and discovery the scientists determined that the area is approximately ½ mile square and that the trees are approximately 60,000-80,000 years old. They had been hermetically sealed under several feet of sand therefore are still very solid. They believe that the height of measured waives in Hurricane Ivan (as much as 98 feet high in that area) created such a stir at the forest depth as to uncover the forest.
It is believed that the area was once an island and dates back to the ice age. Some of the trees are massive……….one in particular nearly ten feet around.
The Alabama Coastal Foundation funded a film titled Underwater Forest which can be seen on YouTube. Raines showed the film during his presentation.
After answering a number of questions, John thanked Mr. Raines for sharing his knowledge with the club and noted that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary Children’s Foundation
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.
Rob Diehl