Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Last week the federal government approved protections for 500 square miles of deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, NOLA.com reported. The rules, approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), prohibit fishing with bottom tending nets and other fishing tools that rip apart fragile corals.

Why This Matters: Deep-sea corals live at depths up to 10,000 feet and protect a diverse array of marine life including shrimp, crab, and other fish caught and sold for consumption around the world.

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Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

On Saturday, the Japanese oil tanker Wakashio that ran aground three weeks ago off the coast of the island of Mauritius broke in half. The Panama-flagged vessel was traveling from China to Brazil with no cargo, but it was carrying more than 4,000 tons of heavy fuel oil and diesel, of which between 800 and 1,200 tons have already spilled. 

Why This Matters:  It is unbelievably challenging to clean up an oil spill of this magnitude — just ask anyone who stood on the beaches in Louisiana mopping up oil after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

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Mauritius Declares Emergency After Massive Oil Spill From Japanese Tanker Threatens Coast click button

Mauritius Declares Emergency After Massive Oil Spill From Japanese Tanker Threatens Coast

Last month, a Japanese-owned ship ran aground off the coast of Mauritius, causing over 1,000 tons of oil to leak into the sea. Last week, Mauritius residents “stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves” in order to create “makeshift oil spill barriers,” as CBS News reported earlier this week.

Why This Matters: If the ship breaks in half, an already horrifying situation will be made worse, seeing as there are still 2,500 tons of oil currently contained in the ship.

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Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Late on April 20, 2010, the deepest oil well in history at that time (operating at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet) exploded killing 11 people and it began spewing oil.  An estimated 210 million gallons flowed into the ocean over the course of 87 days.

Why This Matters:  It is a faded memory, but for those who lost everything in the spill, it is hauntingly familiar to the current COVID crisis.

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Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Numerous organizations (Oceana, National Wildlife Federation, and Skytruth among others) have looked back at the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico in the ten years since — and sadly, the impacts of the worst oil spill in history are still being felt on Gulf resources — dolphins, turtles, whales, birds among others — and the risks of another catastrophic spill are still high.

Why This Matters:  I (Monica) was involved from day one of the response to the spill and through the early restoration work for two years after it ended, and we tried mightily to minimize the damage and begin restoration immediately

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Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that under the Oil Pollution Act and the terms of its contract with the shipping company, CITGO Asphalt Refinery must repay the government and the shipper for the $133 million they spent to clean up the 6000 barrel oil spill that occurred when the oil tanker hit an abandoned […]

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