The Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: April 20, 2010
The USF Libraries created the Gulf Oil Spill Information Center (GOSIC) as a means to collect and store information and data concerning the spill. This site was created in service to the scientists at the 20 institutions that make up the Florida Institute of Oceanography as well as those who are concerned with the details surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath.
Gulf Turtle Nests Abound, But Worries Remain
Credit: National Geographic
Sea turtle nesting season is underway on Gulf of Mexico beaches, and observers say activity seems normal. But these aren't the same animals that nested during last year's Gulf oil spill, and scientists are concerned about a continued rise in turtle deaths.
"The first sea turtle nesting season after the 2010 BP oil spill was contained is underway in the northern Gulf of Mexico. And biologists and turtle conservation groups report a good nesting season so far.
Last summer, as the ruptured well spewed an estimated 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf, scientists and volunteers launched a risky rescue– moving fragile turtle eggs away from the oil danger.
Biologists and volunteers moved about 28,000 eggs , mostly loggerhead turtles, from Alabama and Florida’s Panhandle to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The goal was to spare the vulnerable hatchlings an encounter with the oil. It’s estimated around 14,000 hatchlings were released on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
The tiny turtles were not tagged, so no one really knows where they are now. And if they were spotted, they couldn’t be accurately identified..."
From National Geographic Daily News
(6 July 2011)
Image Credit: Alamy
By Rob Evans, et al, Guardian.co.uk
Documents list companies that caused more than 100 potentially lethal - and largely unpublicised - leaks in 2009 and 2010.
Serious spills of oil and gas from North Sea platforms are occurring at the rate of one a week, undermining oil companies' claims to be doing everything possible to improve the safety of rigs.
Shell has emerged as one of the top offenders despite promising to clean up its act five years ago after a large accident in which two oil workers died.
Documents obtained by the Guardian record leaks voluntarily declared by the oil companies to the safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive(HSE), in a database set up after the Piper Alpha disaster of 6 July 1988 which killed 167 workers. They reveal for the first time the names of companies that have caused more than 100 potentially lethal and largely unpublicised oil and gas spills in the North Sea in 2009 and 2010.
They also deal a significant blow to the government's credibility in supporting the oil industry's fervent desire to drill in the Arctic. Charles Hendry, the energy minister, has said operations to drill in deep Arctic waters by companies such as Cairn Energy off Greenland are "entirely legitimate" as long as they adhere to Britain's "robust" safety regulation.
(5 July 2011)
Budget Cuts a Step Back for Marine Research
(July 4, 2011) By Kate Spinner, Herald-Tribune – "Crippled by debt and funding cuts, the ocean research institute that played a critical role in responding to last year's oil disaster is struggling to keep its science ships afloat.
The Florida Institute of Oceanography, a state-funded program based at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus, operates two of the state's three research ships capable of carrying scientists and their equipment to the deep sea for more than a week at a time.
Scientists at universities, as well as state and private research centers, rely on the organization's ships to conduct field studies. They were essential in discovering underwater oil plumes during the spill and the "dirty blizzard" of oil and dead organic debris that may still be settling to the sea bottom.
But state budget cuts - coupled with a mandate to pay off outstanding debt - have forced the FIO to take drastic cost-saving measures, including layoffs, that some scientists say endanger the program.
State lawmakers' decision to cut the organization's budget signals a troubling step backward after the oil spill demonstrated "how important it is to have solid state-based research able to protect our offshore resources," said Ian MacDonald, a biological oceanographer at Florida State University and an FIO council member.
House appropriations chairwoman Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, defended the cut in an email, saying that the state faced a $4.6 billion budget shortfall that "necessitated the need to look at all areas of the budget and determine where cuts would be made."
The cuts trimmed FIO's $1.3 million budget by about $100,000..." Read More.