October 7, 2011 – Oil and gas platforms dotting the horizon are a familiar sight for many who look out at the Gulf of Mexico from its many beaches and shorelines. But few have witnessed the rich marine environment that surrounds the rigs under the surface.
A new online web cam now offers that opportunity by providing real-time videos streaming from 32 feet under and at 88 feet under the surface. The web cams are part of an initiative called “Save the Blue” aimed at educating the public about the life that exists below the surface around oil and gas platforms.
Black Elk Energy is a corporate sponsor of Save The Blue, which in a nutshell is campaigning to put a stop to federal actions that call for the removal of decommissioned rigs. They are asking for the government to “immediately stop all structure decommissioning until an environmental impact study has determined the impact of regulatory obligatory actions on individual structures.”
“Platform Jackets create reef habitat that would otherwise not exist over tens of thousands of square miles of soft bottom on the northern continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico. Once the platforms are removed, the populations of invertebrates will die immediately and the obligatory reef fish will be lost to the biota if they survive the process of mandatory removal. Every year for the next 40 years, 100-120 platforms will be removed annually. If the platforms were recognized as “protected habitat”, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would have to recommend to Minerals Management Service (MMS) to not remove the platforms or take actions to mitigate the loss of habitat.”