Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico blooming big

The Gulf of Mexico has a bad case of “gulf hypoxia” this year, and if you’re not a doctor, that means we got one heckuva Dead Zone simmering just off the coast of Louisiana all the way to Florida. Check out how the problem may have started in your state and what the EPA is doing about it.

BP oil spill clean up by the numbers — post gusher

With the elections nearing, fall weather setting in and the holidays soon to follow, that BP oil spill horror is receding in the public’s rear view mirror.

But the U.S. government remains doggedly committed to the clean-up, according to Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft, who updated a handful of reporters today.

Here’s the scoop, by the numbers.

  • 11,200 people remain engaged in the oil spill response across the Gulf of Mexico. That’s down a lot compared to the 48,000 who responded at the peak of the disaster, but remains more than those who worked recovery at the peak of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

How to — and how not to — help dolphins during the oil spill

You’ve probably encountered those “Don’t Feed the Bears” signs in national parks. Well, it’s true of dolphins also.

NOAA has put out notice that the public should not feed, corral, swim or approach dolphins in the gulf, even if they appear distressed from possible exposure to the oil spill.

But residents concerned about suffering or stranded dolphins should call in about them on the federal government’s wildlife hotline at 866-557-1401.

While they wait for a response team, they can and should:

  • Stay with the animal until rescuers arrive, but use caution. Keep a safe distance from the head and tail.

Hands Across the Sands plans a public demo against oil drilling

The message of Hands Across the Sands, its founder likes to say, is simple: Say ‘No’ to oil drilling and ‘Yes’ to clean energy.
To make that point crystal clear, thousands of Americans are expected to line up on beaches tomorrow (June 26) at 11 a.m. to join hands and show their solidarity on that point. The gatherings will last 15 minutes. Organizers will take a photo of the group, and then members will disband, leaving only their footprints behind.

BP disaster: We all own it

BP President and Chairman Lamar McKay (Photo: CSPAN)BP officials are at their least appealing when pushing off responsibility for the oil spill onto the oil-consuming public. We caught a whiff of this attitude during their May testimony to Congress.

“Tragic and unforeseen as this event was, we must not lose sight of the reason that BP and other oil energy companies are operating offshore, including in the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf provides one in four barrels of oil produced in the U.S. – a resource our economy requires,’’ said BP President and Chairman Lamar McKay, testifying to to the Senate.

How the top kill operation works (if it works)

We’ve had to learn a lot while watching the excruciating efforts to cap the gushing BP oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest lesson on the chalk board is about deep sea pressures. The water pressure is so great at a mile below the surface that pumping material back into the ruptured oil pipe is an incredibly difficult feat. It calls for a special potion of drilling “mud” that can “lock up” against the force of the oil gushing out, and yet not freeze before doing its job or collapse at deep sea pressures and temperatures.

Oil spill clean up, a ‘shovel ready’ green job opportunity

Ironically, our latest fossil fuel disaster is providing some needed green jobs.

I just wish I could say it’s great to see America back at work.

So far, about 13,800 people “have responded” to the call to help minimize the effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, prepare for the giant oil slick’s landfall and clean up the shoreline afterward, according to BP.

A welder works on a pollution containment chamber at Port Fourchon (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard)

A welder works on a pollution containment chamber at Port Fourchon (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard)

See the oil slick from space

From Green Right Now Reports

NASA satellite photography captured the BP oil slick, now in its third week, from space.

The slick has been said to have a surface area greater than Maryland; and even though experts continue to debate how devastating or unprecedented it will or won’t be, it is a prominent feature in the gulf, where it’s is visible as a thick, gray hook-shaped feature.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center based in Greenbelt, Md., reports that the slick is directly south of the Mississippi/Alabama borders, southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi.

Florida Keys Tourism Council posts updates on oil spill

From Green Right Now Reports

Mindful of the tourists that visit the sunny, sandy Florida Keys year round, the Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council has added an oil spill info section to its website to keep travelers posted on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

As the growing oil mess continues to float just off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, weather reporters have been speculating that it could, if it shifted southward, take flight on the gulf currents that carry water out of the area. That could carry oil around Florida and even up the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. to the Carolinas.