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Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
- Hiring people from out of state at $12 per hour to clean up the beaches while local residents who have lost their livelhoods are being asked to volunteer to clean up,
- Fishermen have been asked to sign waivers limiting their rights to legal recourse in exchange for a small payoff,
- Men and women who survived the initial explosion were held on a ship for 15 hours while the rig burned into the ocean and their friends burned and drowned, then were held in a hotel for another 25 hours without being able to communicate with their families until they cracked and signed promises to remain silent about the accident and waiving their rights to legal recourse, and
- After a promise of transparency by BP the Director of Mobile Baykeeper was given a pass to go into the Mobile Command Center, she was turned away and escorted out by 2 BP security guards.
Jared Robinson Criscuolo
BELOW THE SURFACE Founder
A coast-to-coast exploration of America's waterways
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
So we can’t stop the flow from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 210,000 gallons/day!!! That’s a lot right! Well, let’s do the math…
210,000 gallons/day = 8750 gallons/hr = 145.83 gallons/minute = 2.43 gallons/second
2.43 gallons/second and with all of our American Ingenuity, modern engineering and technology, and we can’t turn it off?!
2.43 gallons/second and they can’t just plug it up somehow? Can’t drop a giant cement block on top of it to slow it down to an even slower creep.
Either that, or it’s a gross underestimate of the actual rate of leakage.
Let’s just say it is 1 million gallons/day, that’s still only 12 gallons/second… still seems like we should be able to manage that flow too, doesn’t it?
The reductive power of mathematics allows us to see this issue in a whole new light. With all of the money being spent on containment buoys, dispersants, and other efforts, what else is ongoing to cap the well. Don’t worry about recovering more oil from it at the same time. Just cap it. Kill it. First things first. Fix the leak.
Monday, May 10, 2010
May 10, 2010
Flying into New Orleans yesterday with the great Mississippi River below us, I couldn't help but wonder what type of impact the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would have on this area. I do know however that there is already a halt on all fishing and shrimping in effect in this area. Many of the local fisherman and their vessels are being hired to help in the cleanup efforts.
One interesting note is that five sea turtles have come up dead in the last few days with no evidence of oil contributing to their untimely deaths. Authorities here are speculating that because of the shrimping vessels being released one week early because of the impending oil spill, that rushing fisherman may have killed them accidentally as they raced against the clock against the soon-to-be halt on all fishing. Hard to imagine how many more sea turtles may be killed as the oil slick worsens.
After landing yesterday, Kristian Gustavson, who I am traveling with, and I headed to the Multiple Lines of Defense Lab at the University of New Orleans where we were briefed on the deep water horizon disaster, situation report by GIS (geographic information systems) coordinator Ezra Boyd.
Some mind-blowing figures are that an oil spill of this magnitude will cost
$285 million dollars for shoreline cleanup in Louisiana for 30 days. There are three basic ways to combat an oil spill: using oil booms, dispersants and absorbants, as well the more drastic measure of burning the oil itself, used in a major spill like this one.
Another interesting fact is that the only significant breakthrough in clean up efforts since the tragic Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 is that they now know that they can anchor the oil booms down which help keep them from splashing around. Right now Kristian and I are coordinating our efforts with the National Audubon Society, Waterkeeper alliance, and Louisiana State University.
For more information, visit http://www.ecowarriorsurf.com/, http://www.belowthesurface.org/ or http://www.nottheanswer.org/
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Earlier in the week we asked the GOALØ facebook community what the consequences of the spill might be to fishing and water sports. A fan wisely responded: why not ask about the impact to the entire ecosystem? He was right.
Arriving in New Orleans on Thursday night our team gathered at a local pub. Conversation centered around a local fisherman who died from alcohol poisoning. He drank himself to death devastated by the oil spill putting an end to plentiful fishing waters and his income. Along the coastlines there are many who share in this dispair. Many who literally live from what the Gulf's waters bring.
The next morning the team traveled to Biloxi to find a boat to board and head out to the spill. Usually on a Friday afternoon Biloxi would be hopping with fishermen hustling in and out for the days catch. Biloxi's beaches and her roads would be lined with cars as people try to find a spot to worship the sun and dip into the Gulf's warm waters. Not today. Boats docked and beaches empty – a veritable ghost town.
We were fortunate though. Amidst the docked boats was one man willing to take us out in his skiff. Hopping aboard we made our way out to meet the encroaching slick. Talking with the skipper he spoke in tones of disbelief – another potential casualty in this brewing storm. As a hotel owner he spoke of vacancies. Not just a few. Where occupancy would typically be at full, today, it was empty. With the spill rate jumping from 5,000 gallons to now 210,000 gallons a day the end of empty halls and rooms is no where in sight.
Finally, at 40 miles out we hit the slick. Contrary to what one would think, instead of a black sludge on the water, this was like a thick reddish mud. The PR spin is that the majority of the reddish invading sludge is "algae." As far as we could see – there was no algae. It was what BP belched out from below. While drifting we stood there, blown away, by the massive spread of the flow. Evidence of its impact on animal life came to surface – the Blue Button jelly fish. The name comes from the hue of blue seen when swimming in unpolluted waters. Instead of a pulsating blue, the jelly fish resembled what could only be described as dark floating garbage bags.
Seeing the effect upon this marine life, while also exposed to the impact upon human life on shore makes the question, "what about the ecosystem," even more relevant now. The ecosystem is so encompassing. Beyond marine life, the flora, the fauna, and our love for the outdoors, we see generations of families who have relied upon the coastal waters. What they will go through and how they will cope is unknown beyond the decades it will take for the natural habitat to recover. First it was Katrina, then the great recession. This, the next storm, is fast approaching. It is inconceivable – the collateral damage caused across this entire system of which we are a part. Now, these people once again have to piece together how they will survive. The cleanup efforts that are mounting, the failed efforts to control the oil flow, encompass so much more than just the oil.
Over the next few days we will piece together the footage and interviews taken from this exploratory trip.
Contributed by: James Pribram, Kyle Parkin and Chris Meek.
About James Pribram/Pro Surfer & Eco Warrior
James Pribram is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His written work has appeared in the LA Times, Surfer's Path, Surfing, Surfer, Water and numerous additional publications worldwide. He is an active environmental leader in his community where he has served on the Laguna Beach Water Quality and Environmental Committees and is a board member for the Clean Water Now! Coalition. He co-founded Eco Warrior, a grass roots organization which is dedicated to protecting oceans, beaches and sea life worldwide, and They Will Surf Again, which raises money for people who have suffered from ocean-related spinal injuries. He is the owner and operator of Aloha School of Surfing, which teaches aspiring surfers of all ages the power of surf stoke. Pribram's Surfing Soapbox column appears weekly in Laguna Beach's Coastline Pilot Newspaper.
About Below the Surface
Below The Surface is a California non – profit organization focused on promoting water conservation and improving water quality in rivers and oceans. Learn more at www.belowthesurface.org.
Field-proven in the most rugged and remote places on earth — GOALØ delivers dependable access to renewable electric power where there is none. We make electricity ruggedly portable and power – and empower – the passion for adventure for people around the world. GOALØ is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit www.goal0.com.