GOMAEEN News Archive

These stories reflect Gulf news from June 2009 forward.

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All the Oil Became Food

The researchers found that non-toxic compounds from the oil spill had worked their way into the base of the food chain. “We showed with little doubt that oil consumed by marine bacteria did reach the larger zooplankton that form the base of the food chain. These zooplankton are an incredibly important food-source for many species of fish, jellyfish and whales,” says Graham.


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EPA Finds Minimal Dioxin Risk from Oil Burning in the Gulf of Mexico

But two new reports by the EPA appear to ease those fears. One found that dioxin levels were roughly comparable to those produced by residential wood stoves or forest fires, and below concentrations the agency considers dangerous.


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NOAA opens more Gulf waters to fishing after BP spill

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Monday it had reopened more than 8,400 square miles of Gulf waters to recreational and commercial fishermen, leaving only a fraction of the area still closed because of the spill.


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'Shadow' of oil spill seen in Gulf of Mexico plankton

It is possible to trace oil from the BP spill as it moved through the first several levels of the Gulf’s food chain, starting with the microbes that broke the oil down, according to a scientific paper released today.


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How a 7-year-old Inspired Me Today

She reminded me of the very reason I came to work today. Simply put, I want Kaeden to grow up in a world filled with the wonders of wildlife – from sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico to polar bears in the Arctic.


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Making Climate Change Cool in the Classroom

Williams is a senior educator for the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), a nonprofit based in Oakland, Calif., that sends speakers — armed with an original video produced by ACE — to schools to talk a little basic science. They're prepared for an uphill struggle. "We do this in a way you've never seen it," says Williams, a Brooklyn native and lawyer. "We know you have to engage them from the beginning."

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US EPA at Inaugural U.S. Science & Engineering Festival – Safe Chemicals

There were science-based performances, games and activities, all geared to showing the fascinating and fun side of science. This festival was in response to the steadily decreasing leadership role of the U.S. in science, which the organizers hoped to change by stimulating an interest in science for kids at a young age.


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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today released its Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the current status of plants and animals considered candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One species has been removed from candidate status, five have been added, and four have a change in priority from the last review conducted in November of 2009. There are now 251 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection.


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Coral reefs under siege from acidic oceans

Ocean acidification, a potentially disastrous consequence of global warming, is threatening the early life cycle of coral reefs near Florida and throughout the Caribbean, according to a new study published Monday.
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Tar Balls Continue Washing Ashore in Florida

I took this photo at Florida’s Perdido Bay State Park, just west of Pensacola in Escambia County. Oil had just started to arrive on the beach, mixing with the area’s famous white sand to form brown clumps.


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New ocean acidification study shows added danger to already struggling coral reefs

A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggests that over the next century recruitment of new corals could drop by 73 percent, as rising CO2 levels turn the oceans more acidic. The research findings reveal a new danger to the already threatened Caribbean and Florida reef Elkhorn corals.
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Lafourche choosing site for saltwater-control structure

Lafourche Parish officials are debating where to place a new structure to block saltwater from creeping up Bayou Lafourche and threatening local drinking water supplies.




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Spill prompts call for safety institute

Now, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wants to replicate that collaboration by creating an Ocean Energy Safety Institute that would bring together government scientists, environmentalists, drilling experts and industry leaders focused on advancing offshore safety, spill response strategies and exploration techniques.


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Kings Bay Manatees Are Off Limits for 4 Months

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prohibited human contact with manatees in Florida's Kings Bay for four months to preserve the animal's natural habits while the agency develops a permanent solution to the human-manatee clash brought about by the creature's popularity.

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NPR Duo Wins AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award

NPR Science Correspondent RICHARD HARRIS and Editor ALISON RICHARDS have been awarded the 2010 AAAS KAVLI Science Journalism Award for the radio category by the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. The award, which includes $3,000 and a plaque to be awarded at the AAAS annual meeting in FEBRUARY, was given to HARRIS and RICHARDS for a series, "Follow the Science: Calculating the Amount of Oil and Gas in the GULF Oil Spill," that challenged the first estimates of the size of the oil spill in the GULF OF MEXICO.
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Macondo oil spill highlights gulf coast vunerabilities

Entergy Corp., a nuclear power provider, used the conference as a forum to release a study entitled “Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast.” America’s Energy Coast and America’s Wetlands Foundation supported the study. Entergy helped commission the study done by McKinsey & Co. and Swiss Re.


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Ozone depletion could be damaging whales' skin: scientists

A closely-studied community of whales, including the threatened blue whale, showed worrying signs of sunburn, possibly because of ozone depletion in the atmosphere, biologists reported on Wednesday.


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Riley: Feds are demanding control over oil spill recovery funds

Referring to NRDA, Mabus, who also serves as Navy secretary, wrote, “we are working closely with your representatives, and those of other affected states, to identify major restoration projects in each of the states that can be launched without delay, when agreed to by the responsible parties.”
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Marine facility opens for public education

Holly Hebert, public information officer at LUMCON, said over the years, many people have expressed a desire to take a class at the facility. Now, with the help of a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, LUMCON is able to offer some adult classes, Hebert said.
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Researcher: Fish numbers triple after oil spill fishing closures

Instead, ongoing research suggests the federal closure of the richest portion of the Gulf to all fishing through the spring and summer months resulted in dramatic increases in the abundance of numerous marine creatures, from shrimp to sharks.
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NOAA Announces Environmental Literacy Grants for Science Education

NOAA’s Office of Education announced today that it has awarded grants totaling more than $8 million to seventeen institutions across the country to engage the public in science education activities that improve understanding and stewardship of the local and global environment. Included are projects that enhance or expand museum exhibits using data visualization, expand citizen science networks, develop family programs for underserved/underrepresented audiences and enhance teen education programs
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Officials gather in Florida for first meeting of Gulf oil spill restoration task force

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will preside over the first official meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in the aftermath of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout.


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Gulf of Mexico Foundation Newsletter: Gulf News

GMF's Suraida Nanez-James was one of three US representatives to take part in a regional workshop for Gulf of Mexico environmental education held September 8-10 in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
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Translating the wonders of science at Florida Tech

Florida Tech has received $450,000 of a $2.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to train graduate students, post-doctoral candidates and research scientists how better to communicate science to K-12 students and other non-scientific audiences.

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Philippe Cousteau carries on mission to save the oceans

But his biggest passion, he said, is to work with young people around the world, teaching them about the importance of our seas and oceans, empowering them with knowledge and tools. And the latest EarthEcho programme will train young people to be citizen journalists, and provide them with cameras so that they can tell the stories that are important to them.


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Restoring the Gulf, one turtle at a time

Specialists at the Audubon centre cleaned the turtles and dolphins brought to them that way and rehabilitated them at their inland facility, essentially a warehouse filled with black plastic tubs and several pools. The society handled a variety of turtle species, including green, hawksbill, loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley, the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world.




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Aquatic lab amazes students

This weekend, the lab opened its doors to about 60 students of Sarasota's Fruitville Elementary and more than 150 family members.


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Elmer's Island welcomes coastal restoration volunteers for the first time since oil spill

The goal on this recent Saturday was to get 6,000 new plants in the ground and 600 more feet of sand fence stretched across the beach. The sand fences slow the wind column just enough to knock the blowing sand down, thus accelerating the natural process of dune building, Fine said. The plants then keep the dunes from eroding.


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Florida Tech researchers to study effects of BP oil spill

Bostater will use special cameras to examine the "spectral signature" of plants to see how much seagrass and marsh were killed. He can decipher the types of plants and their die-off based on the wavelengths they reflect.

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Researchers work with BP to monitor the Gulf of Mexico

"This radar provides a new source of ocean current data in a region of the Gulf of Mexico that has always been data-sparse," NOAA HF Radar Project Manager Jack Harlan said. "It's a great example of a private-academic partnership providing data that NOAA will distribute through its Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) benefiting spill response, U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operations, harmful algal bloom tracking, coastal water quality monitoring and a host of other critical uses."


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Of Special Note


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