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Sutton defends master's thesis
on oyster shell recycling
April 13, 2021 - For more than a decade, Gail Sutton has been assisting the GMF with its contracts and business management. Today marked a milestone as she completed her Master's of Science in Fisheries and Mariculture defense with a presentation entitled "Economic Assessment of Oyster Shell Reclamation and Restoration." While earning her Master's degree, Sutton has conducted research in conjunction with the Oyster Recycling Program at Harte Research Institute (HRI) where she works as Assistant Director. With a background as a commercial lending officer, Sutton began managing the daily operations and finances of HRI in 2003. She holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where she is currently completing her Master’s Degree.

EPA honors GMF with environmental award for work in Caribbean
April 2011 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation has been selected to receive a 2011 US EPA Environmental Quality Award. Each year, EPA searches for those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health.

The Environmental Quality Award is the highest recognition presented to the public by EPA. Award recipients come from all sectors of the community, including non-profit, environmental, businesses, community groups, individual citizens and environmental educators. EPA will honor this year's award recipients at a ceremony on April 29 in New York City, which GMF Deputy Director Ryan Fikes will attend to accept the award.

The focus of the nomination and receipt of award is based on the GMF's overall commitments and efforts in the Caribbean, but also the education and outreach that we have conducted in that region," said Fikes, who heads up the GMF's Community-based Restoration Program. In addition, GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network Coordinator Richard Gonzales has worked with schools in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

GMF provides environmental perspective on coastal committee
April 2011 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation's Bobbi Reed serves as Executive Secretary for the South Texas Coastal Zone Area Committee (STCZAC), a group that maintains a response plan for oil spills or chemical releases in the Coastal Bend. The GMF provides input to STCZAC on issues of environmental activities in the region. The committee is comprised of various federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as the marine industry and includes:
  • U.S. Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi
  • Texas General Land Office
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Texas Railroad Commission
  • Nueces County Office of Emergency Management
  • Coastal Bend Council of Governments
  • Citgo
  • Valero
  • Kirby National Spill Control School
  • Marine Spill Response Corporation
  • Gulf of Mexico Foundation
STCZAC works on issues relating to joint response efforts, including development of appropriate procedures for mechanical recovery, dispersal, shoreline cleanup, protection of sensitive environmental areas, fire fighting and salvage operations. It also develops procedures for the protection, rescue and rehabilitation of fisheries and wildlife.

Research expedition to study coral reefs worldwide begins in Bahamas
Copyright 2011 World Wire. All rights reserved.
LANDOVER, MD, April 7, 2011, --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The Living Oceans Foundation has chosen The Bahamas for the opening of its Global Reef Expedition, a five-year, world-wide study of the health of the coral reef environments. In making the announcement, Captain Philip Renaud, USN (ret), the Foundation’s Executive Director, noted that up to 80 percent of all life on the earth is found in the oceans, and that the health of the coral reefs is critical to the health of many species that inhabit the oceans.

Under the banner of Science Without Borders®, the ambitious Global Reef Expedition will be outfitted, equipped and financed by the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, which is headquartered in the Washington DC suburb of Landover, Maryland. The Global Reef Expedition will begin with six months of research in strategic parts of The Bahamas, beginning with the Cay Sal Bank April 26 to May 18.

Richard Branson unveils
deep-sea submarine plans
Copyright 2011 Reuters. All rights reserved.
LOS ANGELES - April 5, 2021 (Reuters) - Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, known for such exploits as trying to balloon around the world, said on Tuesday he planned to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans with a jet-like submarine.

Virgin Group head Sir Richard Branson sits on top of a solo piloted submarine during a photo opportunity at a news conference in Newport Beach, California April 5, 2011.
PHOTO: Reuters/Alex Gallardo

The 18-foot vessel is capable of descents more than 36,000 feet below the surface, said Branson at a news conference in Newport Beach, California. His project, called Virgin Oceanic, will undertake five dives over two years. The first is set for later this year, when the team plans to explore the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench at a depth of 36,000 feet. Branson plans to pilot a second dive himself, into the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean. Other areas to be explored are the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean and Diamantina in the Indian Ocean.

"There is just so much to explore, so much to discover," he said. "We are going to obviously come across some fascinating creatures and learn some fascinating things that will hopefully be useful for mankind." Branson said he expects the project to cost less than $10 million.

Salazar to convene ministerial forum on offshore drilling, blowout containment
Press Release from US Dept of the Interior. All rights reserved.
RIO DE JANEIRO March 29, 2021 – As part of a commitment to reduce the risks associated with offshore drilling around the world, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced he is convening ministers and senior government officials from nations engaged in offshore oil and gas extraction to discuss the development of cutting-edge technologies for containing potential deepwater well blowouts on the outer continental shelves.

Salazar, who is meeting this week with Brazilian and Mexican officials to discuss cooperative efforts on safety in offshore energy development, said the Ministerial Forum on Offshore Drilling Containment will be held in Washington, D.C., on April 14 at the Interior Department. Read more about the forum, including a draft agenda.

"Just as we share oceans with our neighbors, we have an interest in sharing best practices for how all of us can develop our resources safely and responsibly," said Secretary Salazar. "Those of us engaged in offshore energy exploration and production have a collective responsibility to strengthen our capabilities for containing potential deepwater blowouts and promoting international collaboration, research and development going forward."

Majority of US oil, gas leases lie idle
Copyright 2011 Environment News Service. All rights reserved.
WASHINGTON, DC, March 29, 2021 (ENS) - Roughly 70 percent of offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and more than half of onshore leases on federal lands remain idle, neither producing nor under active exploration and development by companies who hold those leases, a new government report shows.

The report was requested by President Barack Obama on March 11 and released today by the Department of the Interior. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, "We continue to support safe and responsible domestic energy production, and as this report shows millions of acres that have already been leased to industry for oil and gas productions sit idle."

"These are resources that belong to the American people, and they expect those supplies to be developed in a timely and responsible manner and with a fair return to taxpayers," Salazar said.

"As we continue to offer new areas onshore and offshore for leasing, as we have done over the last two years, we will also be exploring ways to provide incentives to companies to bring production online quickly and safely," the secretary said.

Galveston Bay new 'Great Water'
Copyright 2011 Galveston Bay Foundation. All rights reserved.
WEBSTER, TX, March 24, 2021 - Galveston Bay has been designated as one of nine new "Great Waters" by America's Great Waters Coalition. The Coalition works to ensure the restoration of America's Great Waters to protect people, wildlife, and the economy by advocating for adequate funding for restoration efforts and raising awareness about the challenges facing our nation's Great Waters.

The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) will make the announcement of this national designation at Trash Bash at Armand Bayou in Bay Area Park on Saturday, March 26th at 12:30 p.m. "We will have over 700 volunteers picking up trash around and along Armand Bayou that morning. Those volunteers already know in their hearts that Galveston Bay is a "great water," but it will be nice for them to hear that we have received the official designation from the Great Waters Coalition," stated GBF President Bob Stokes.

US approaches BVI over trash burning
Copyright 2011 BVI Platinum News. All rights reserved.
VENICE, LA, March 11, 2021 - In a statement on March 10, USVI Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. said that at his urging, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials at the U.S. State Department have formally asked the Government of the BVI to stop polluting the air of St. John by burning trash in the open on neighboring Tortola.

According to the Governor, the U.S. State Department requested from United Kingdom and BVI officials that they immediately cease the practice of open rubbish burning at the Pockwood Pond incineration facility, and that they give full priority to a new facility that will responsibly handle the island's waste disposal.

"Our friends in the British Virgin Islands must responsibly process their waste. It is unfair for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically residents of St. John, to have their air quality diminished by the actions of a neighboring country," the Governor stated.

He added, "As a good neighbor, the Government of the British Virgin Islands has an obligation not to jeopardize the health of residents of St. John, as well as their own people."

According to USVI authorities, State Department officials encouraged BVI authorities to stockpile excess rubbish in a properly managed site on Tortola, so as to make possible delayed incineration without open burning. They also proposed an alternative solution of setting up an interim solid waste disposal program until the new incinerator at Pockwood Pond is completed.

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March-April 2011

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Ocean News & Technology

SeaWeb Ocean Update

Environment News Service

Environmental News Network

Grist Magazine - Environmental News and Humor

The Ocean - Ocean News and Guide

National Wildlife Foundation -

Shifting Baselines - Common Sense for the Oceans

MSNBC Environment

Underwater Times - Ocean News

Capitol Reports - Environmental News Link

National Geographic News - Oceans

Coastal States Organization Weekly Report

NOAA Media Center

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Deepwater Horizon Response

Deepwater Horizon Response

USFWS Deepwater Horizon

NOAA Office of Response

NOAA Fisheries Service
SE Regional Office

Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill

NOAA Marine Mammal Health

The Florida Aquarium
Oil Spill Response

Oiled Wildlife Care Network

Gulf States Contact Information for Deep Horizon Oil Spill (pdf 135kb)

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