BP Spill: Environmental Awareness links & questions

Will there be a system producing the oil and gas before the relief wells are completed, supposedly in August?  Will the relief wells be fully successful early on?  There are so many distressing images coming to us over the spill cam.  For me there is so much of my memories and hopes long ago lost are brought to mind. my own life was already pinched in before this disaster. To understand the freshwater sytem behind the saltwater marshes that are behind the almost lost barrier islands. One can see that there are oil and government scars that are still across Louisiana. This spill is an attack on a struggling set of ecosystems and while they are vital and fertile they are not extremely resilient. So we hope BP gets it capped, will they?  

The Cut and Cap had not succeeded to the fullness of its potential when I posted this blog.  British Petroleum is working its robots all over the wreckage they have tried to clear and clean up. They have a trimmed Blow Out Preventer gushing more oil than ever before and a cap that was lowered down without a riser pipe to collect the oil. In addition the seal certainly seemed to be spewing lots of oil.  I of course am not sure what exactly is going on and I do believe that restoring the barrier islands is important. I have however seen that in the context of a larger system. my idea is described in the next link. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/ideal-wetlands-policy-on-the-louisiana-coast/ 

I hope that I wake up tomorrow to the news that the gusher is capped. However, I probably will not. Even if I did there is already a great deal of oil to deal with.  For me the world was already in a very big mess before this spill and the spill threatens a very strained set of cultures and ecosystems. So I want to look at the spill just as an environmental issue and incident in this post and yet also connect it to the  events and an analysis that have been developing. 

 The situation in the Gulf of Mexico is dire and not likely to get better very soon. I want to use this blog post to discuss this as an ecological and environmental disaster. I will also provide links that discuss this incident from that point of view.  Then I am providing some links and samples from other sources to just give a context and vision of what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Audubon Society has a unique claim to be involved and informed in this struggle.  That is because John James Audubon, the namesake of the society did much of his natural history research and bird painting in Louisiana.

1.http://www.audubonaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aa_HowtoHelp

2.http://www.auduboninstitute.org/gulf-oil-spill-resources

Besides the Audubon organizations there are many other major environmental organizations weighing in on the situation. I have located a few major links here as well. No two of these groups have exactly the same perspective.

3.http://members.greenpeace.org/blog/greenpeaceusa_blog/2010/06/03/the-ixtoc-blowout-31-years-ago-today

4.http://oceansociety.blogspot.com/2010/05/oil-spill-in-gulf-proves-need-for-oil.html

6.http://www.gulfmex.org/director.htm#oil

7.http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/threats/offshore_drilling.php

II. Assessment of the Situation

Besides these organization above that are advocating for various kinds of environmental policy and response there are others in the world trying to report on the situation. I list a few of those in links by home country. These reports are all very different and may offer useful insights into what we can expect different groups and interests to be discussing.

USA

Time has photos of affected wildlife.

1.http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1992275,00.html

New Orleans has a major newspaper covering the situation.

2.http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/bp_places_cap_on_gulf_of_mexic.html

Scientific American Magazine looks at how the Spill could affect the microbes and their role in the Gulf, especially that area called the dead zone. 

3.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-will-the-oil-spill-impact-dead-zone

The Society of Petroleum Engineers marks  the event and refers visitors to three other sources. See their text.

“Gulf of Mexico spill

The Society of Petroleum Engineers wishes to express its concern for all those impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and support for our colleagues who are working to resolve this situation. Updates on the situation are provided at the following locations: BP, Deepwater Horizon Response and API Gulf spill.”

4. http://www.spe.org/index.php

China

China’s National English Language TV discusses alternate energy policy in light of this spill.

5.http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20100603/101270.shtml

United Kingdom

BP reports to the Prime Ministry in London, England.

6.http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article7143846.ece

III. GOHSEP Sightings in Louisiana

I have decided to end this post with the GOHSEP report on oil sightings so we can base the rest of the reading and discussion on basic facts about the oil’s landfall.

“Oil Sightings Report June 3, 2010

Plaquemines:
Sighting: Large dark red/brown ribbon of oil southwest of Tiger Pass (north-east to south-west direction).
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Thick brown streamers with rainbow sheen in a one mile area running north to south, 11 miles west of lower Plaquemines Parish.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Two separate lines of oil 1.7 miles due south of the Mississippi River Delta.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Sighted oil in the reeds on the east side of Redfish Bay.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Oil reported of a mile east of Loumis Bay.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Shoreline impact of oil 0.17 miles south of Grand Bayou Pass.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Small patches of silver sheen 50 – 200 feet in diameter; 18 miles south-east of Mud Lumps Historical Landmark.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Line of emulsification 3.8 miles north-east of Timber Bayou.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Sighting: Heavy black oil one mile long by 350 yards wide in north-west Wreck Bay.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Jefferson Parish:
Sighting: Sheen and spots of heavy oil 200 yards off Shell Island. Beach impact is eminent.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Lafourche Parish:
Sighting: Boom washed up on island of a mile north-west of Hacket Lake.
Date: 3 Jun 10.

Terrebonne Parish:
Sighting: Oil impacted on a small, unnamed island north of Whiskey Island; did not appear fresh and possibly remnants of a previous impact.
Date: 3 Jun 10

Sighting: Patches of light sheen at the intersection of King Lake and Mud Hole Bay.
Date: 3 Jun 10

Sighting: Ribbons of sheen on Bayou Little Caillou near Lake Boudreaux.
Date: 3 Jun 10

Sighting: Light continuous sheen approximately ten yards wide, six miles south-west of Coupe Colin Island.
Date: 3 Jun 10″

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One response to “BP Spill: Environmental Awareness links & questions

  1. Pingback: Awareness of Pain: A Post With Many Links « Franksummers3ba's Blog

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