We often write about the damaging impacts of algal blooms found in the ocean and in lakes that are fouling beaches and coastal waters, not to mention drinking water in certain areas. But algae have the potential to be used as fuel for everything from delivery trucks to warplanes and ships, according to author Ruth Kassinger in an opinion piece in The Boston Globe. –Continue Reading 409 words
As we have reported previously, in 2004, an oil production platform owned by Taylor Energy Company sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. This sparked an oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico for the past 15 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent flow rate calculations revealed that between 378 to 4,536 gallons of oil has been spilling into the Gulf per day, as opposed to the estimated 3 to 5 gallons per day claimed by Taylor Energy.Continue Reading 554 words
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its annual prediction of the size of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic or “dead” zone and it is expected to be nearly 8,000 square miles (roughly the size of the State of Massachusetts) and could rival the largest one ever, which happened in 2017. This year’s […]Continue Reading 496 words
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ocean exploration ship the Okeanos Explorer made an exciting discovery on May 16 — while conducting an “engineering dive” in the Gulf of Mexico to test new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipment, they found the wreck of what is likely a mid-19th-century wooden sailing vessel.Continue Reading 329 words
- beaked whales
- Gulf of Mexico
- marine mammals
- North Atlantic Right Whale
- oil and gas
- South Carolina
As part of their challenge to bar the government from drilling for oil and gas off the southeastern coast, a coalition of environmental groups asked a federal judge in South Carolina to force the government to suspend seismic airgun blast testing, which are used to deposits of oil and gas under the sea floor, until the case can be fully heard in court. They are challenging the government’s permits, which would allow for the drilling to harm and even possibly kill of a number of marine mammals, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, which is on the verge of extinction.Continue Reading 550 words
The National Audubon Society published a new report yesterday calling for the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever attempted — a $1.7-billion slate of distinct restoration projects spanning the states of Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Louisana, and Florida. The funding for these projects is available due to the $20B settlement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation.Continue Reading 463 words
The state of Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality starting in December first published an interactive map that shows where it is unsafe to swim and where fishers should not eat their catches, according to an Associated Press story in nola.com. The map provides information on 58 lakes, bayous and waterways and even covers almost 1,200 miles of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico that are under state jurisdiction. And the map is a very much needed tool because it turns out there are some serious contamination issues in Louisiana.Continue Reading 450 words
- climate change
- Gulf of Mexico
- ocean acidification
- ocean warming
Warming ocean temperatures are causing massive changes for fishermen, some of which may force them out of business, according to several recent stories examining the impacts of climate change on the fishing industry.
Why This Matters: Warming waters that shift fish populations make a barely viable business downright impossible for many small and medium-sized fishing operations. Not to mention the additional fuel and time it takes to chase fewer fish, that are now found farther from ports. Watching this play out is painful in U.S. fishing communities, but for many parts of the world, it could become a real food security crisis. The U.S. government currently is very lethargic in changing its fisheries management schemes even as the evidence of shifting fish populations grows. Given the challenges of climate change, a more engaged approach to fisheries management that takes climate change into account is needed. It will benefit the fishermen and the fish populations as well.Continue Reading 513 words