#3 Answering Reader Questions About the Oil Spill

In this post, New England Aquarium President and CEO Bud Ris answers reader questions about a recent visit to the Gulf of Mexico.

Q: Have you heard anything regarding Kevin Costners machines? BP has ordered 30+ of them to help with the clean up.
- Janet Gillis Peterson on Facebook

A: No, we didn't hear anything about Kevin Costner's oil separation machines down here. It is difficult to determine whether experimentation is encouraged, but we certainly saw a number of new things being tried out on the water.

Q: i hope this tragedy has a better ending. Thank you to everyone down there looking after the sea life. I hope they contain this faster than it looks like it might take.
- Thebud Man on Facebook

A: Everyone on Grand Isle was wonderfully thankful that we took the time to come down for firsthand observations. It seems very important to know that people "up north" care about their situation and the marine life in the Gulf.

Q: Thanks for the update... your reports are much better than the regular media... more level headed and accurate... please keep us posted...
- Soso Whaley on Facebook

A: Thank you. It was very helpful to see things in person--especially to give us a better perspective on the magnitude and scale of the challenge facing the cleanup operation.

Q: Let's hope these species are as resilient as Barbara thinks.
- Anonymous in the comments section of this post

A: Yes. If they can get the well fully capped soon, that will make a big difference.

Q: Thanks telling us what's happening there! Looks like the defenses have closed that beach down, are most people not allowed to go see this?
- Anonymous in the comments section of this post

A: The beaches are, essentially, deserted. The public is not permitted to cross the fencing, and there is definitely no swimming. Although tropical storm Alex will not directly threaten Grand Isle, everyone is very concerned that the winds from the storm will push the oil toward the beaches and passes into Barataria Bay.

Q: Are the locals getting financial help as quickly as has been promised?
- Anonymous in the comments section of this post

A: A lot of the fishermen and marina operators seem to be employed as part of the response effort. We saw many shrimp boats, for example, outfitted with boom and working with the vacuum skimmer vessels out on the water.

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