Posted on 29 June 2010.
Jack Bohannan works with the Coast Guard on Breton NWR. Photo credit USFWS/Greg Thompson
Jack Bohannan is the Refuge Manager of for Delta, Breton and Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuges in Southeast Louisiana.
Defenders asked him to tell us a little bit about how he’s dealing with the Gulf oil disaster.
Oil operations and the challenges that go with them are the part of the job when you work on refuges along the Gulf Coast. In fact, when the news broke about the Deepwater Horizon disaster, my staff and I were dealing with a 500-barrel spill in the heart of Delta Refuge caused by a spud barge striking a 10-inch pipeline. What’s happening now, however, is a whole new ball game. Read the full story
Posted in Birds, Features, Heroes, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 24 June 2010.
Tuesday, construction was halted on sand berms off Breton National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Berms, meant to safeguard the refuge from oil, were undermining some of the refuge’s own barrier islands, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In support of the halt to dredging, Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president for Defenders of Wildlife said, “Gov. Jindal has brazenly disregarded the parameters of the dredging permit issued by the federal government, putting in jeopardy the very islands and sensitive coastline he claims to be protecting. The permit specifically notes that the dredge materials cannot be taken from the shoreline of the vulnerable Chandeleur Islands, based on recent science used to expedite the governor’s request, yet Jindal has done just that.
“The Department of the Interior and the Corps of Engineers worked hard to ensure that this project would be done in a way that would support the long term restoration so desperately needed in the region. Unfortunately, Louisiana blatantly violated the core principle of where the materials should come from to build the berms and now is only magnifying the problems associated with stabilizing the coast and armoring it from the onslaught of oil.
“Bullying and cowboy politics are not going to help the situation in the Gulf. Sloppy work got us into this Gulf oil disaster. Sloppy work by Gov. Jindal is not going to get us out of it. He needs to read and follow the permit his own state requested.”
Read Defenders’ full statement.
Posted in Commentary, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 13 May 2010.
I have just returned from the Gulf of Mexico, where the growing disaster from the British Petroleum oil rig blowout threatens some of our most precious wildlife, fisheries and national wildlife refuges. Bearing witness to this epic environmental disaster as it slowly unfolds has been surreal to say the least. It seems impossible to believe that the same beautiful white sand beaches I explored could be blackened by oil in as soon as a few days. Read the full story
Posted in Birds, Marine Animals, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 13 May 2010.
This entry is posted by guest blogger Tim Male, vice president of Conservation Policy for Defenders of Wildlife.
Yesterday, the White House announced a set of priorities for emergency supplemental funding associated with the ongoing Gulf oil disaster. The legislative package laudably focuses on steps to reassure consumers that seafood coming from the Gulf is safe, food aid and jobs assistance for people and communities affected by the oil spill, and raising liability caps and a 1 cent per gallon increase in the excise tax on oil companies to fund the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that will eventually repay the cost to the taxpayer to clean up this mess.
However, on the day when the government announced that the first dead marine mammals affected by the spill have washed up on Gulf beaches, more needs to be done for wildlife. Read the full story
Posted in Experts, Marine Animals, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 10 May 2010.
LA Times reports that even as BP officials consider a new method to clog the leaking well, Krista Schlyer, a freelance photographer working for the group Defenders of Wildlife, said she saw an oily sheen churning in the surf around Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge, .
It’s spawning season in the Gulf for bluefin tuna, a species already suffering from drastic declines in population. Kevin Spear with the South Florida Sun takes a look at bluefin and other species in peril from the oil spill.
Brown pelicans, whose numbers have been decimated by the disappearance of marshlands, were only just removed from the endangered species list this past November. Jeff Corwin and CBS reports how the oil spill could undercut the species’ recent comeback.
Concentrations of fish are actually 25-50 percent higher near oil rigs than in open waters, creating man-made reefs that could be wiped out by an oil spill. Jeff Corwin dives in to investigate this underwater paradox up close.
The Gulf is one of the most important breeding grounds for the planet’s sharks, reports CBS and Jeff Corwin.
Fish and Wildlife Service classifies the Deepwater Horizon spill as light crude, which leaves a film on intertidal resouces and has the potential to cause longterm damage to wildlife, from plankton all the way up the food chain.
Posted in Birds, In the News, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 10 May 2010.
Posted by Krista Schlyer, a photographer for Enviro-pic.org and member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Eimhear Marvel slept in a beanbag on the floor of the boat as her dad, Captain Peace Marvel, and I bounced across the choppy Gulf out of Venice, LA, Saturday afternoon. Eimhear (pronounced ‘emer’) is a strawberry-blond youngster who decided to accompany Peace and I on a trip to assess the extent to which oil from the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig had reached the Chandeleur Islands. But Eimhear had reasons of her own for being there. Two of her favorite animals were often to be seen on boat rides with her father, and she wanted to get a chance to see some dolphins and sea turtles.
I hoped we would, but I feared that catching sight of wildlife would mean seeing them covered in oil, or washed up on the beaches of Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Peace had seen a struggling young sea turtle only days before, coated in oil from the BP spill. It was both my purpose and my nightmare to photograph the impact of the oil spill on wildlife. And it only made it worse that Eimhear might see it too. Read the full story
Posted in Birds, Marine Animals, Uncategorized