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News About the Gulf of Mexico

Mississippi Delta's fish are fine,
but wetlands vanishing
Copyright 2011 Detroit Free Press. All rights reserved.
VENICE, LA, February 24, 2021 - The most important news out of last week's Bassmaster Classic on the Mississippi Delta wasn't the $500,000, four-time victory by Kalamazoo's Kevin VanDam.

It was the concern by VanDam and many other top tournament anglers that there won't be a Delta for them to return to if we don't soon stop the erosion that's wiping America's most productive wetlands from the map.

It's also a story of fishing guides, marina owners, tackle shop operators and tens of thousands of others who depend on recreational fishing trying to overcome a false impression that hurricanes and the BP oil spill have ruined their area as a sport fishery.

Predator fish in oceans on
alarming decline, experts say
Copyright 2011 Washington Post. Article by Marc Kaufman. All rights reserved.Washington Post
WASHINGTON DC, February 20, 2021 -
Over the past 100 years, some two-thirds of the large predator fish in the ocean have been caught and consumed by humans, and in the decades ahead the rest are likely to perish, too.

In their place, small fish such as sardines and anchovies are flourishing in the absence of the tuna, grouper and cod that traditionally feed on them, creating an ecological imbalance that experts say will forever change the oceans.

Scientists in Mexico gauge lionfish invasion as 'intermediate-advanced'
MERIDA, MEXICO, Feb 20, 2021 - To help fight the overabundance of lionfish in the Alacranes Reef National Park (ARNP) in the southern Gulf of Mexico, scientists Dr. Alfonso Aguilar-Perera and Dr. Armin Tuz-Sulub from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán started holding workshops in July to encourage lobster diver-fishermen to bag the invasive species while fishing for lobster. Since the program began, about 260 lionfish have been caught by about 40 volunteer fishermen in ARNP. The large number of lionfish obtained so far raises a red flag, according to Aguilar-Perera. The scientists are using invasion phases established by NOAA for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which determine that more than 200 confirmed lionfish or more for one year is considered an "intermediate-advanced" phase. Fishermen have collected the lionfish and also recorded data, such as coordinate, depth, type of bottom, etc. Now, the scientists are building a database to map the presence of lionfish in ARNP by depth, location, size of fish, and month. This very same initiative is being applied to other marine protected areas off the northern Yucatan peninsula such as Rio Lagartos, where fishermen also dive for lobsters.

Free, online weather application now available for mobile devices
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, Feb 15, 2021 - Internet users can now view radar loops on mobile devices from the National Weather Service's mobile site. The new program was designed especially so for iPhones and iPads that don't use Java so NWS's main radar page can be viewed only in static form. Start at, a fast-loading web page, to bring up products, observations and radars. To get to the radars scroll down to "NWS Regional Radars" and click on your region. From there you can go to specific radars. The first image is a low-resolution static image. Below that image is a high-resolution Radar image, high-resolution Radar Loop and high-resolution Storm Total. The high-resolution Radar Loop provides a bigger map background with the radar looping. This mobile application is not as detailed as the normal NWS webpage radar but it does loop and shows polygons and is a quick way to get a radar loop on the run that is FREE.

Coast Guard, Louisiana begin
Orphan Anchors Retrieval Program
Copyright 2010 Restore the Gulf. All rights reserved.Restore the Gulf
NEW ORLEANS, Jan 27, 2021 - The Coast Guard, in coordination and consultation with the state of Louisiana, local partners, and other federal agencies, has directed BP to begin the first of a three-phase program to retrieve orphan anchors in state waters. Launching the first phase of this program is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 29.

During the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill response, thousands of 20 to 70-pound Danforth anchors were deployed to keep containment boom in place. After retrieval of the boom in areas where no containable oil posed a threat to the shoreline, it was discovered that some of the anchors were not accounted for various reasons such as storms. In addition, some anchors were solidly embedded in the sediment, and could not be recovered by teams retrieving boom.

The first phase of the program to remove these anchors will involve controlled testing by experienced underwater salvage teams. Crews will place anchors in a selected area and then search for them to find the best procedures and equipment for locating and removing the anchors. Using the best methods developed under these tests, crews will then transition into the second phase, which involves locating and removing the orphaned anchors deployed as part of the oil spill response in select areas of St. Bernard Parish.

Panel faults BP, contractors
for Gulf of Mexico Spill
Copyright 2011 Wall Street Journal. All rights reserved. By TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON – January 11, 2021 – A U.S. commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill said Tuesday that BP PLC and its contractors committed "identifiable mistakes" Wall Street Journal - click to read full articleand that systematic failures raise doubts about industry safety.

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and its panel of experts said in a report that government oversight of the industry will require "fundamental reform" and that oil companies will need to "dramatically" step up safety practices.

The commission was established in May, one month after the drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and triggering the worst offshore spill in U.S. history. Halliburton Co. provided cement to seal the well, while Transocean Ltd. owned the rig.

The panel urged the Interior Department to create an independent safety agency to oversee offshore drilling and recommended increased funding for government agencies that oversee spill response and planning.

Meetings on Outer Continental Shelf
Oil and Gas Leasing Program

New Public Comment Period Extends to March 31
Copyright 2011 Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office of Public Affairs.
WASHINGTON – January 3, 2021 – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced that it will hold a series of public scoping meetings in February 2011 on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the proposed 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The public notice is available for public inspection today through the Federal Register’s website.

On December 1, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced an updated oil and gas leasing strategy for the OCS and identified the areas that would be considered for environmental scoping for the 2012–2017 program. The final PEIS will cover areas in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico along with a small portion of the Eastern Gulf that was set aside by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act for Lease Sale 224. Additional areas to be considered are Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and Cook Inlet.

The PEIS public scoping meetings in the Gulf of Mexico region are scheduled as follows:

  • February 15, 2021 at 1 pm - Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush International, 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Houston, Texas
  • February 16, 2021 at 1 pm - New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Dr., Kenner, Louisiana
  • February 17, 2021 at 1pm - Five Rivers-Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, Alabama

Whale shark loses its radio tag
Researchers offer $200 reward for recovery of lost device
Copyright 2010 Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. All rights reservedFlower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
GALVESTON, TX – December 15, 2020 – Rachel Graham, a researcher with Wildlife Conservation Society, has informed the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) that an electronic tag she is using to track a whale shark near Mexico seems to be floating on its own now and heading toward the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.

Missing electronic tag used to track a whale shark near Mexico. The data on the tag is important for ongoing whale shark research and scientists would like to recover it.

At right is a photo of what the tag looks like. Since the data on the missing tag is important for ongoing whale shark research, Rachel would like to recover it. If you find this tag, please return it to Rachel for a $200 reward. The tag is still functioning, which means that it is still transmitting its location. For information on the last recorded location, please visit the Wildlife Tracking website's Holbox page to find a locator map.

If you need additional information, please contact Rachel Graham at To learn more about the work Rachel is doing, please visit the FGBNMS' Elasmobranch Research webpage. Thank you for your assistance!

State calls off Galveston beach project
Recent Texas high court ruling on Open Beaches Act gets blame
Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle. All rights reserved. By Harvey RiceHouston Chronicle.
GALVESTON, TX – November 16, 2021 – State officials canceled a $40 million Galveston beach replacement project that was scheduled to begin on Monday because of a recent Texas Supreme Court ruling that weakens the Texas Open Beaches Act.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said that last week's ruling, which was intended to protect homeowners from losing beachfront property to public use after a major storm, also makes it impossible for workers to begin pumping sand onto eroded beaches on Galveston's west end. That's because state law prohibits the spending of public money to benefit private property.

The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Texas Open Beaches Act "has muddied the legal waters enough to delay the beach project indefinitely," Patterson's office said in a written statement.

The Texas General Land Office planned to scatter more than 2 million cubic yards of fresh sand over six miles, from the west end of the Galveston sea wall to 13 Mile Road, to defend against high erosion rates threatening the city's tax base and infrastructure.

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January-February 2011

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Deepwater Horizon Response website
Deepwater Horizon Response

Florida DEP's Deepwater Horizon Response website
Deepwater Horizon Response

USFWS Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response
USFWS Deepwater Horizon

NOAA Office of Response & Restoration
NOAA Office of Response

NOAA Fisheries Service SE Regional Office
NOAA Fisheries Service
SE Regional Office

Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill

NOAA Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program
NOAA Marine Mammal Health

The Florida Aquarium Oil Spill Response
The Florida Aquarium
Oil Spill Response

Oiled Wildlife Care Network
Oiled Wildlife Care Network

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

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