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Conservation Roundup: Oil Spills, Playa Protection, Fighting Carp Invasion

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September 28, 2011

Conservation Roundup: Oil Spills, Playa Protection, Fighting Carp Invasion

By Bob Marshall

Worrying New Signs of BP's Oil in Gulf

When the Deepwater Horizon blew April 2010, oil spill experts said it was a disaster that will keep on giving for years to come, and the evidence of that truth is piling up.

A study released in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science last week revealed that petroleum toxins from Deepwater Horizon have altered the cellular functions of the Gulf killifish, or cocahoe. This wetlands minnow is a prime a food source for valuable sports species such as redfish, speckled trout, flounder and drum. The impacts observed are predictive of disruption in reproduction and larvae survival, the authors reported. The complete study can be found here.

One day later, the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged that oil sheens spotted near the site of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out may be coming from the well that was supposedly capped a year ago.

Anglers and environmental groups have been reporting sheens in the area for months, but authorities downplayed their relevance until samples analyzed by oil experts at Louisiana State University confirmed they were coming from the Macondo well.

Mapping the Playas

Playas are shallow, clay-bottomed depressions in the Great Plains that serve as seasonal wetlands to waterfowl and numerous other birds and wildlife. They play a major role in recharging the Oglala Aquifer, a main source of fresh water for humans and critters in the nation's mid-section. Playas are one of the most threatened wildlife habitats on the continent. The Playa Lakes Joint Venture, a partnership of public and private conservation organizations working to protects playas has found one of its most challenging missions: helping sportsmen and residents of the region to know where their playas are.

Help is now available with the PLJV play lakes county maps for six states.

 
States Demand Action on Asian Carp

Midwestern sportsmen fighting to spreading invasion of Asian carp are getting some powerful political help: The Attorneys General of 17 states have demanded federal help to choke off the spread of the invasive species that has proven deadly to native fish and fishermen.

Comments (5)

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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Every time I read stuff like this, it just makes me more sad about the state of our government. Cover everything up, downplay significance, and if there's anything they can do to help, forget it and ask someone else. Better yet do it yourself.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

So, Mr. Marshall, who was the government moron who allowed the Asian carp to be imported into the U.S in the first place?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Bernie- It was actually a collective group of morons. Several states started using the carp in septic lagoons in the late 80's and early 90's. When the flood of 1993 hit, they got washed into the big rivers and spread like wildfire.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

A small victory in southern Arizona today. Pima County department of air quality denied Communist China's "Rosemont Copper" mine air permit.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The Deepwater Horizon hit pressures that they were just not prepared to handle. They absolutely did not expect that high of pressure nor did anyone else expect it. These high pressures were so hard to deal with that it took months to cap the well and new methods had to be devised to even do it. Now the well cap is said to be holding with no leaks period. But there still is all that pressure under the sea floor and some of it is finding its way out and reaching the surface. It may be coming through cracks in the seafloor, be them natural or from the drilling. It may even be leaking from around the well casing, but the oil is appearing on the surface and has been tested and confirmed in the news to be from the same oil field as the well site. By drilling and hitting those unexpected high pressures we have opened a pandora's box of problems that even our grandchildern's children may still have to deal with. We are still getting tar balls washing up on the beaches and that may continue for years with all the oil that was chemically treated to sink to the bottom only to be stirred up by storms.

I know we need fossil fuels to sustain our current way of life and that they are a finite source at best. There are risks in exploring and obtaining new sources of those fossile fuels. But still a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizion turned into is awfully hard to accept especially when I pull up to a pump and pay the type of prices that those fossil fuels are bringing. My boat also runs on those fossil fuels and the fuel for it will be a waste if the specled trout, flounder, and redfish are impacted from the oil effecting the killifish. So I guess my whole point is now that we know the risks of trying to obtain oil from under our gulf floors at such depths and pressures, at least when we try in the future, we please please please need to be better prepared.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jakenbake wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Every time I read stuff like this, it just makes me more sad about the state of our government. Cover everything up, downplay significance, and if there's anything they can do to help, forget it and ask someone else. Better yet do it yourself.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

Bernie- It was actually a collective group of morons. Several states started using the carp in septic lagoons in the late 80's and early 90's. When the flood of 1993 hit, they got washed into the big rivers and spread like wildfire.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

A small victory in southern Arizona today. Pima County department of air quality denied Communist China's "Rosemont Copper" mine air permit.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The Deepwater Horizon hit pressures that they were just not prepared to handle. They absolutely did not expect that high of pressure nor did anyone else expect it. These high pressures were so hard to deal with that it took months to cap the well and new methods had to be devised to even do it. Now the well cap is said to be holding with no leaks period. But there still is all that pressure under the sea floor and some of it is finding its way out and reaching the surface. It may be coming through cracks in the seafloor, be them natural or from the drilling. It may even be leaking from around the well casing, but the oil is appearing on the surface and has been tested and confirmed in the news to be from the same oil field as the well site. By drilling and hitting those unexpected high pressures we have opened a pandora's box of problems that even our grandchildern's children may still have to deal with. We are still getting tar balls washing up on the beaches and that may continue for years with all the oil that was chemically treated to sink to the bottom only to be stirred up by storms.

I know we need fossil fuels to sustain our current way of life and that they are a finite source at best. There are risks in exploring and obtaining new sources of those fossile fuels. But still a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizion turned into is awfully hard to accept especially when I pull up to a pump and pay the type of prices that those fossil fuels are bringing. My boat also runs on those fossil fuels and the fuel for it will be a waste if the specled trout, flounder, and redfish are impacted from the oil effecting the killifish. So I guess my whole point is now that we know the risks of trying to obtain oil from under our gulf floors at such depths and pressures, at least when we try in the future, we please please please need to be better prepared.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

So, Mr. Marshall, who was the government moron who allowed the Asian carp to be imported into the U.S in the first place?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment