NOAA's Okeanos Explorer (previously 1, 2) is currently exploring the Gulf of Mexico. Today, they're exploring a 19th century shipwreck! Watch the discoveries on three live streams.
Starting on September 22 last year, Professor Robert Fuller of the University of North Georgia spent four months paddling down the Chattahoochee River system, from the Chattahoochee's headwaters in northern Georgia down through the Apalachicola into the Gulf of Mexico, studying water quality along the way. Then he paddled 200 miles through the Gulf, turned at the mouth of the Mobile River, and paddled another 750 miles upstream on the Mobile, Alabama, Coosa, and Etowah Rivers all the way back to northern Georgia—a total of just over 1,500 miles of solo paddling in his Kruger Sea Wind. Along the way, he kept a blog, "ate a lot of Beanie Weenies", and faced difficulties including cold, hunger, injuries, and river obstructions. Incidentally, he did all this while living with leukemia. [more inside]
'Well, could we get some respirators or something, because that s--t is bad.' He said, 'No, that wouldn't look good to the media.' Last month, BP CEO Dudley told the annual BP shareholders meeting in London that Corexit "is effectively ... dishwashing soap." But the Louisiana Environmental Action Network's scientific adviser, Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities at the time that she was especially concerned about the mixture of crude and Corexit. Flashforward to 2013, the civil trial against BP is underway, and an investigative reporter talks about the cover-up in a long article at Newsweek. (Previously, previouslier, more previouslier)
Earlier this month, British Petroleum agreed to plead guilty to 14 violations of law, including negligence causing death and the Clean Water Act. [more inside]
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Al Jazeera reports on large-scale deformities and mutations in the Gulf of Mexico seafood catch.
"The saddest part is the children... We’re seeing young children with extremely high levels of chemicals. We're altering our DNA and our bodies forever. We're a bunch of guinea pigs." (previously)
The final hours of the Deepwater Horizon.
But this was a disaster with two distinct parts — first a blowout, then the destruction of the Horizon. The second part, which killed 11 people and injured dozens, has escaped intense scrutiny, as if it were an inevitable casualty of the blowout.
It was not.David Barstow, David Rohde and Stephanie Saul report for the New York Times on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. [more inside]
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March. Drilling will continue in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico under new safeguards. Previously.
Another oil rig has reportedly just exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Though coverage is scanty now as this is a breaking story, there is updated coverage here. This news comes just as a new study by officials from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources working with local oyster men finds that roughly 90% of oysters in the areas they sampled were dead.
Women of the Storm ... and the men who love them - anchored by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and including many celebrities, an advertising campaign called "Be the One," sponsored by the Gulf-Coast organization Women of the Storm, recently issued a "50-state" challenge to develop a "national solution" to problems in the Gulf of Mexico. The PR watchdog site DeSmog Blog alleges that the campaign is an astroturf effort from "BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron, and other polluters." The allegations contend a front group called America's Wetland Foundation is using Women of the Storm to propagate the message that taxpayers should contribute to the oil-spill cleanup. The New Orleans Times-Picayune disagrees. The Women of the Storm and America's Wetland Foundation respond to the allegations. What's the truth?
As of about an hour and a half ago, oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's broken well for the first time in 87 days. See for yourself. Previously.
The Oil Spill Commission held its first hearing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday at the New Orleans Hilton. During the public comment portion, local residents came forward to tell their own stories of loss and fear and frustration over the oil spill and the moratorium. When words failed, music prevailed.
BP Slick Covers Dolphins and Whales. (YouTube) John L. Wathen, (MySpace Video) Hurricane Creekkeeper and Alabama environmental activist, flew over the oil slick area on June 21. This video documents a truly terrifying aerial tour of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, with activist and journalist David Helvarg providing narration. More remarkable videos can be found on his YouTube channel.
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill hits the Louisiana wetlands. More photos here. Meanwhile, the state department confirms US officials have begun talks with Cuba about how to help the small island nation deal with the environmental impacts of the disaster. And as McClatchy and other news agencies are now reporting, the latest independent scientific estimates appear to confirm a rate of flow much higher than BP has previously been willing to acknowledge, in the likely range of 95,000 barrels a day, amounting to roughly an Exxon Valdez size spill every three days. Meanwhile, ProPublica reports that the industry seems intent on keeping the lid on just how bad things really are in the Gulf, and quotes company spokesmen as saying that the actual rate and amount of flow is “not relevant to the response effort.”
The fire is out on the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. But since the rig sank last Thursday, Coast Guard officials believe about 13,000 gallons (7,400 bbl) of crude oil per day is coming out of the exploratory hole drilled by the rig, about 41 miles offshore from Plaquemines Parish, LA. "An early suggestion that damage would be minimal because the fire was consuming most of the fuel 'does have the potential to change,' BP official David Rainey told the New York Times." [more inside]
Rising up from deep within the aquifer, cool clear water flows from hundreds of springs that dot the Florida landscape. Florida springs are natural wonders that are threatened constantly. [more inside]
Scientists have captured a 19.5-foot, 103-pound giant squid off the coast of Louisiana, only the second known giant squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico since 1954. Previously & previously.
Hurricane Gustav is headed for landfall in Louisiana in the next 48 hours, with currently around an equal chance of being a category 3 storm or a category 4 storm. Gustav has 150 mph winds at the moment as it begins to enter the gulf of Mexico and a million people evacuate. After failing in their response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago, Fema is trying to be more proactive. Of course, some people are staying in harm's way, live blogging, and once again, there's the cry "bring it on". [more inside]
China's Olympic beaches, choked by a plague of green algae. Sez David Suzuki: This is not an unusual occurrence, but it is a symptom of an underlying problem with potential repercussions far more serious than hampering Olympic events. [more inside]
Interactions between migrating birds and offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico (PDF, 5.9MB). A scientific but engrossing look at bird migration over the Gulf of Mexico, describing, in part, death by starvation of migrants who have metabolized all their bodily fat, “overshoots” that inadvertently travel past their intended destinations and find themselves unexpectedly over water at first light, and a suggestion that peregrine falcons not only recovered from near extinction due to the presence of oil platforms in the Gulf, but that they may eventually establish a breeding population on the Gulf platform archipelago. Summary. Full report (PDF, 5.9 MB).