OIL SPILL UPDATE - Recent reports from the Gulf

Hi all,

I've had some time to catch up on other work and visit with my family. I even celebrated my Mom's 70th birthday this weekend - go Mom! Since my return I have received emails and other requests to continue providing oil spill updates. These will not include photos of the sea turtle rehabilitation efforts since I am back in Boston, however I will do my best to pull internet information together for you here into one blog.

I'll most likely plan to post an oil spill update once a week, I'll aim for Wednesday or Thursday each week and try to be consistent so you will know when to check.

Several of you have expressed concern over the burning of oil at sea. These controlled burns have recently been the topic of discussion over multiple media outlets. In my opinion, one of the most interesting articles on this topic is by Los Angeles Times writer Kim Murphy. In her article Death By Fire in the Gulf she quotes the sea turtle biologists that are conducting the on water rescues of sea turtles from the oil slicks. You can feel the frustration from Blair Witherington, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientist, through his quotes. You really need to read this article for yourselves, paraphrasing just won't do in this case.

The photos below are from the Los Angeles Times. The photo on the left shows the rescue vessel in a slick of oil. The photo on the right shows scientist Blair Witherington with the turtle rescue team.

Photos by Carolyn Cole/ LA Times

The photo below is also from the Murphy article. It shows a small endangered Kemp's ridley being brought on board in the capture net.

Photos by Carolyn Cole/ LA Times

The graphic below came out a little blurry (or I need glasses) but I thought it was worth showing. This graphic shows the burn zone. (Click here for the original in higher resolution from the Los Angeles Times.)

The photos below were taken and posted by the U.S. Coast Guard. The photo directly below on the left shows a vessels corralling oil into the controlled burn. In the distance, a second controlled burn can be seen. The photo on the right shows a chain of controlled burns with vessels of opportunity nearby.

Photo on left by Chief Petty Officer Bob Laura. Photo on right by Chief Petty Office John Kepsimelis

The photos below are from the crew of the
Juniper, a local Cutter from Newport, RI. In the photo on the left the crew checks the level of water and oil in the ships storage tank. The photo on the right shows efforts by the same crew to skim oil. A fire hose is used to direct the oil toward the recovery pumps.

Both photos above taken by Petty Officer 3rd Class Colin White.

The photo on the left shows Dr. Brian Stacy, a veterinarian for the NOAA Fisheries Service, scooping a netted sea turtle into a dry padded holding pool. The photo on the right shows an oil-free loggerhead swimming near the vessel. This animal was in good condition and showed no signs of oil. It was not captured as it was not in distress. (See more pictures of Dr. Stacy in action on this previous blog post.)

The photos above were taken by Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times

I'll close this blog with an exceptionally interesting map that was emailed to me today. This is an interactive map from USA Today detailing the locations of oiled animals by species, oiled beaches, closed beaches and more. Check out the many tabs and settings - this is a mapping masterpiece, people. Please do check this out and look at each tab. Don't miss the last tab and try clicking on the different sections in the diagram for further details.

Map by Dave Merrill, USA TODAY. Click through to the original, higher resolution interactive map.

The oil spill continues to draw great interest and strong emotions. I have decided to provide blogs on the oil spill once a week as per your requests. I have had many request to continue from friends, colleagues and strangers. I've also had several requests from citizens of neighboring countries or countries half way around the world who were getting most of their information from this blog. I am told that the oil spill coverage is minimal at best and non-existent in many countries in favor of the World Cup tournament or other news stories. I'll do my best to keep you informed.

- Connie

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing this! There are a lot of stories out there... good to know what you're watching.