GOMAEEN News Archive

These stories reflect Gulf news from June 2009 forward.

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Oil Spill Threatens Marine Life

A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continued to grow on Monday, creating an environmental disaster along the coast.
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Ecological calamity grows

The growing oil slick is moving toward fragile wetlands, threatening fisheries, wildlife, the environment and businesses along the Gulf Coast.

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Oil spill has little impact on human health

While the rapidly expanding Gulf oil spill presents a serious danger to the local ecosystem, the oil itself poses little harm to the public, according to scientists and numerous government organizations. Oil can cause a rash if it contacts the skin, but oil by itself cannot kill or seriously harm a human.


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Urgency increases as oil spill grows

The industry of shrimpers, fishermen and oyster harvesters absorbed more than $1 billion of damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike, he said. The industry generates about $2.4 billion a year, producing one-third of the domestic seafood consumed in the continental USA.
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Gulf oil spill could impact non-coastal songbirds

Even though they don't stop over in the Gulf of Mexico, many migrating songbirds could be impacted by the catastrophic oil spill in the area, warns the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Of 500 Globally Important Bird Areas in the US, nearly 30 percent (149 in total) lie on coastlines which could be vulnerable to this or future oil spills from off-shore drilling.

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Oil spill poses major threat to seafood industry, environment

As oil from a massive spill caused by an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico continued to pour into Louisiana's ecologically rich wetlands Friday, elected officials and experts wondered about the long-term ecological and economic effects the accident will have on the state and its inhabitants.
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No oil contamination evidence found in 5 turtles

Necropsies completed on five of the 25 dead sea turtles found along Mississippi beaches in the past few days show no evidence of oil killing the reptiles.
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NOAA closes fishing in oil-affected portions of Gulf of Mexico

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has closed fishing to both recreational and commercial anglers for a minimum of 10 days, effective immediately, in more than 6,800 square miles of federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill -- largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida's Pensacola Bay.
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BP Says Crews Make Progress Stemming Oil Leaks

BP reported some glimmers of progress on Monday in its efforts to stem oil leaks from an undersea well off the Louisiana coast that have created what President Obama called a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”
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Alabama's 'Turtle Tsar' ready to help with Gulf oil spill clean-up

As oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill continues to threaten the Alabama shoreline, Reynolds and his 300 Share the Beach volunteers are looking for other ways to help the beaches and the wildlife.
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Gulf oil spill's wide environmental reach includes harm to animals, marshland

Experts say it's not clear yet how much the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will harm the environment along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and other gulf states. But they say it is clear the harm will be great.


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Towns Scramble To Protect Gulf Coast From Oil Spill

Fishermen and oystermen in south Louisiana were preparing to thread miles of oil-absorbing boom through fragile marsh and wetlands Friday, as coastal communities in four states scrambled to protect shorebirds, marine life and sugar-white beaches from the massive oil spill headed for the Gulf Coast.
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Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Ops document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."


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Oil spill will affect spawning

NOAA forecasts have the spill coming ashore over most of coastal Mississippi, including the barrier islands, on Saturday, and spreading east to the Alabama coast Sunday into Monday.

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Gulf Islands National Seashore Officials Ready To Deal With Oil Spill ... If It Washes Ashore

While officials monitor the forecast, they're also updating the seashore's "oil response pre-plans and tailoring them based on the specifics of this situation, should we need to implement them," he added.
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Audubon Fears Imperiled Birds Will be Next Victims of Gulf Oil Disaster

Audubon experts across the Gulf Coast are monitoring the spread of thousands of gallons of oil that threaten to turn last week's drilling platform explosion into a growing environmental disaster.

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Alabama groups seeking oil spill volunteers

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Mobile BayKeeper and the Alabama Coastal Foundation are collecting contact information from individuals who are interested in assisting with cleanup efforts along the Alabama coast should oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill reach the state's shores.
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Congress investigating oil rig explosion

Lawmakers on Tuesday asked the owner and operator of the oil rig that exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico for documents as part of a congressional investigation into the accident.
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Oil to reach Louisiana coast by Friday

Winds will shift as early as today to the south, which will push the expanding sheen toward Louisiana estuaries and potentially toward eastern Gulf beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
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Obama calls Miss. governor after deadly storms

The White House says Obama assured the governor that every effort is being made to minimize the environmental impact of the leak, which began last week after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank. Eleven workers who were aboard the rig are missing.
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Miss. provides air monitors for oil spill response

State agencies in Mississippi are working with federal authorities to "forcefully, aggressively" respond to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an official from the state Department of Environmental Quality said Wednesday.
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Alabama Coast Braces For Oil Spill

Alabama’s coastline is bracing for what could become the worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

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Oil spill burn-off may affect Florida's west coast

If a growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is left to drift toward shore, birds and other wildlife will suffer, in addition to tourism and businesses that make their living off the water.

If the spill is set afire in a giant blaze designed to burn off much of the oil, the shore will be spared the brunt, but the air quality will suffer.

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Crews to Set Fire to Oil Leaking in Gulf of Mexico

Crews geared up to set fire to oil leaking from the site of an exploded drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, a last-ditch effort to get rid of it before it reaches environmentally sensitive marshlands on the coast.


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New study says oceans' chemistry changing rapidly

The chemistry of the oceans is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere, the National Research Council reported Thursday.The current rate of change "exceeds any known change in ocean chemistry for at least 800,000 years," the report said.
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Nation's science students in Tampa for ocean bowl

igh school science students from across the country are exploring the Tampa Bay area today, learning about Florida marine systems as they prepare for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in St. Petersburg this weekend.
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Alabama's Coast Impacted by Oil Rig Explosion?

Dr. John Dindo, Senior Marine Scientist at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, says the oil does not appear to be threatening Alabama's coastline. "It is always something to be of concern about, but I think in this day and age these professionals are ready to deal with it right away," said Dindo, who insists the primary concern is wildlife that could be impacted. "The most important thing is critical habitats," said Dindo. "They know where the critical habitats are and what they have to do to make sure that never ends up in critical habitats."

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Which fish to eat? Study finds low mercury in most top-selling seafood

The reanalysis of the government-collected data could provide consumers in the United States with an easier method to evaluate dietary exposure to mercury through the fish they eat, making it more likely they will choose the types and amounts of seafood that are safest to eat. In particular, the calculation of a “mercury input factor” weights both the amount of a particular fish sold and its mercury content.
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Underwater inventory

Heyward Mathews knows the Gulf of Mexico like most people know their back yards. Mathews, the 69-year-old professor of oceanography at St. Petersburg College's Clearwater campus, has been diving local waters for nearly 50 years. The legendary father of the Pinellas County artificial reef program, Mathews has watched the fish and coral weather hurricanes, oil spills and more than one Red Tide.
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Gulf Coast Research Laboratory still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina

Plans are under way to rebuild the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium that was lost at Point Cadet in Biloxi during Hurricane Katrina, he said. The facility would be relocated to the Ocean Springs site, he said.
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