GOMAEEN News Archive

These stories reflect Gulf news from June 2009 forward.

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Gulf scientists swim with whale sharks, tag them i

Researchers from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi joined for the September tagging expedition. They were aided in their search by a spotter plane provided by a California-based nonprofit, On the Wings of Care.




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Conservation Groups Move to Stop Sea Turtle Deaths From Shrimp Trawling

The Endangered Species Act requires the Fisheries Service to ensure that its actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered species and to respond to evidence of new threats to their survival. Today’s lawsuit challenges the agency’s failure to protect sea turtles in the wake of a huge increase in strandings and seeks to establish protections for the turtles, including increased enforcement and observer coverage to reduce turtle deaths from shrimp trawls; closure of sensitive areas to shrimp trawling; and broader requirements for shrimp boats to use turtle-excluder devices to allow turtles to escape drowning in all types of trawl gear.


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BP oil disaster documentary rakes over big questions about the spill

The Bix Fix, by Josh and Rebecca Tickell, re-opens some of the most persistent questions about last year's oil spill. How BP was able to exert so much control over the crisis as it unfolded? What were the long-term health consequences of using a toxic chemical, Corexit, to break up the oil and drive it underwater?


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4 dead dolphins wash up on Gulf Coast beaches in 5 days; deaths part of 'unusual mortality event'

"We should be seeing one (death) a month at this time of year," said Ruth Carmichael, a Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientist tasked with responding to reports of dead dolphins. "We’re getting one or more a week. It’s just never slowed down."
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Researcher: Northern Gulf fish show signs of disease, but link to spill uncertain

But whether any of those fish were sickened by exposure to BP’s oil is a complicated question without an easy answer, said Steve Murawski, a biologist with the University of South Florida, who cautioned that his team is still in the process of examining a lot of data.
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SketchBook: News 'n' notes on Gulf Coast arts

Mobile Museum of Art will host “John James Audubon: American Artist and Naturalist” from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8 with a lineup of exciting programs:
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Spinning Disc Skimmer Wins Oil-Spill Cleanup Challenge

Today, American company Elastec was announced as the winner of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge, a competition to build better machines to clean up oil spills at sea.



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Outdoors notebook: Estuaries taking losses

Along that same line, leaders of the outdoors recreational industry are reminding Congress that many of the regulations they claim "kill jobs" actually protect hundreds of thousands of jobs. Their study shows historic preservation of land, water and air generates more than $1 trillion in total economic activity and supports 9.4 million jobs each year.
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NOAA awards nearly $1 million to University of Miami for coral investigation

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has awarded $998,703 to the University of Miami to investigate how the deep coral reefs of Pulley Ridge may replenish key fish species and other organisms in the downstream reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Tortugas Ecological Preserve.


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USM will conduct survey of coast since oil spill

Students from the University of Southern Mississippi will be visiting more than 250 homes south of Interstate 10 on Saturday, to survey residents about their lives after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.


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Study: Worms show extinction recovery

Researchers at University of Colorado at Boulder studied sediments laid down shortly after an asteroid crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 65.5 million years ago and caused widespread global extinctions, including the demise of big dinosaurs. They found networks of crisscrossing burrows less than 3 inches above the so-called K-T boundary layer marking the impact.




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Zoomarine returns ‘extremely rare’ turtle to the Gulf of Mexico

A rare turtle, affectionately named ‘Johnny Vasco’, which crossed the Atlantic Ocean and the freezing North Sea before being found and sent to the Albufeira-based marine conservation park, Zoomarine, is soon due to be returned home to the Gulf of Mexico.


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Can Coral Nurseries Bring Reefs Back from the Brink?

They rarely think of Veracruz, the bustling shipping town on the Gulf, due east of Mexico City. Caribbean reefs, however, are becoming hard to find as the region's corals have nearly disappeared. And although Veracruz might not be a snorkeling mecca, its easily accessible reefs are the perfect place for a coral nursery.


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Giant shrimp invade Atlantic waters, including Southeast U.S

Anytime a nonnative species is introduced into an environment, it can upset the balance of the food chain by disrupting the existing fishery.




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What the Conservation Economy Means for the Mississippi River Delta

While coastal degradation is a serious concern for communities throughout the country, it poses a particular threat to the ecosystem and economy of the Mississippi River Delta. Louisiana is home to 40 percent of the wetlands in the continental United States but experiences about 80 percent of all wetlands losses across the country.
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Wild Dolphins", the iPad App Featuring Winter, Star of "Dolphin Tale"

There is a whole educational section about dolphins: where they live in the world, their external anatomy (through a fun interactive element), and actual sound files of dolphins communicating, including a conversation between a mother and her calf.


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Climate Experts Meet to Discuss Epic Texas Drought

Federal and state weather forecasters and climate experts are getting together to brainstorm about the epic 2011 Texas drought and what weather trends might signal for the future.




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Gulf Killifish Shows Adverse Effects of BP Oil Spill Disaster

A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says that animal species in the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be subject to negative effects of the BP Oil Spill disaster of 2010.


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Ocean Conservancy Launches Trash Free Seas Alliance as 2011 Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative

Ocean Conservancy today announced the creation of a Trash Free Seas Alliance as their 2011 Commitment to Action at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. The Alliance will unite industry, science and conservation leaders who share a common goal for a healthy ocean free of trash.


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10 given Heinz awards for work on environment

Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in Chauvin, La., for research on severe oxygen depletion in the Gulf of Mexico and ways to reduce water pollution through education and public policy.



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Divers the key to taming lionfish

To see how widespread lionfish have become, go online to nas.er.usgs.gov/taxgroup/fish/Lionfishanimation.gif. From a few fish in South Florida, the species has spread up the Atlantic coast to New England, throughout the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico.


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NOAA Releases First National Bycatch Report

A new NOAA report of data collected in 2005 will help the agency’s scientists better monitor progress in reducing bycatch – the non-target fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds caught incidentally in fishing.


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Study enlightens on the amount of oil and gas from Deepwater oil spill

The new study represents a comprehensive look at the data and findings of the flow rate investigations, focusing on the quality and accuracy of the on-the-fly, under-pressure measurements last summer. 'It provides a rigorous assessment of the statistical and systematic uncertainty in our earlier findings,' said WHOI scientist Richard Camilli, lead author of the PNAS paper.


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Texas Authorities Find Massive Shark Kill

This past weekend, wildlife officials in Texas came across a huge illegal fishing operation. They found about 3,000 dead sharks, tangled in miles of nets off the coast. Michele Norris talks with Sgt. James Dunks with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who found the sharks.

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Economy, environment, politics figure in Keystone fight

But making those investments pay off - and getting that Canadian crude to Gulf Coast refineries - depends on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project that is in the final stages of a broad, three-year government review.


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Researchers try solve the puzzle of the MJO

Long leads the AMIE team, one of three groups studying a weather disturbance known as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, or MJO. The MJO initiates every 30 to 90 days and affects regional weather phenomenon such as the Asian and Australian monsoons. Farther away, it can enhance hurricane activity in the northeast Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, trigger torrential rainfall at the west coast of North America.


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Big sand tiger shark joins Aquarium of Americas' Gulf of Mexico exhibit

Meet the newest shark at join the Gulf of Mexico exhibit at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Dubbed Smooth, the sand tiger shark weighs more than 200 pounds and measures 7 feet, 9 inches.


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Gulf of Mexico Ocean Floor Still Polluted by BP Oil

Crozier said remnants of the spill are "economically toxic" for tourism, but he doubts there is much of an environmental threat. The oil lingering on the seabed is of a consistency and chemical composition somewhere between crude oil and tar, he said.


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Coast Guard: Sheen in Gulf not from capped BP well

A statement issued Tuesday by the Coast Guard says the sheens could have come from the sunken rig's riser pipe or from other underwater debris. The Coast Guard says recent video footage shows no evidence of a leak from the blown-out well that was capped last year.


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Food for thought – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good is the many benefits we as a society have reaped from the modern food system including cheaper food in terms of time, economic, and resource inputs. The negative environmental effects of resource intensive food production are represented by The Bad. And The Ugly is the paradox resulting from the good and bad tradeoffs in the food system exemplified here in food waste, which is only one example of the ambiguous outcomes of the modern food system. Through this narrative I hope to show that the food system is a complex web of tradeoffs that must be taken into consideration when proposing sustainable changes to food and agriculture.


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Of Special Note


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