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 28 June 2010.
Jereme Phillips, courtesy of Jennifer Strickland, USFWS
Jereme Phillips has been with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for 11 years. He is the Refuge Manager at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Defenders: Jereme, what is your role in addressing the disaster in the Gulf?
Jereme: My primary role is to protect refuge wildlife and habitats from the oil spill. My staff and I also coordinate closely with the unified command to ensure that the response to the oil spill (surveys, cleanup, boom deployment) is directed to help protect the most sensitive refuge resources and so that any negative impacts are avoided. For example, we mark sea turtle and migratory bird nesting areas so that crews who need to use all-terrain vehicles can do so without affecting nests. Read the full story
Posted in Features, Heroes, Marine Animals, 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 10 June 2010.
In an CBS interview in Louisiana, Defenders’ executive vice president Jamie Rappaport Clark details the heartbreaking sight of pelicans covered in oil, the harmful use of chemical dispersants and the need for all hands on deck in order to get the shoreline clean. “I cannot imagine how we will recover from this,” she says.
Posted in Birds, Offshore Drilling, Southeast, Video
Posted on 07 June 2010.
Ding Darling NWR, photo courtesy of Susan White, USFWS
The 38 national wildlife refuges bordering the Gulf of Mexico are havens for a remarkable variety of birds, sea turtles, marine mammals and other wildlife—including at least 27 threatened or endangered species. Many of these refuges, and the native plants and animals they harbor, are in the path of spreading oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill.
The refuge system, plagued by staffing shortages and a funding backlog of more than $3.7 billion, is already under pressure from the harmful impacts of climate change, invasive species, and oil and gas development within its boundaries. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill threatens to place another enormous burden on the already stressed refuge system.
Read our factsheet to learn more about what the Gulf oil disaster could mean for national wildlife refuges.
Posted in Marine Animals, Offshore Drilling, Southeast
Posted on 25 May 2010.
Today, Defenders of Wildlife and the Southern Environmental Law Center notified BP that they would file suit against the company for the unauthorized take of endangered species caused by the continuing oil spill and use of dispersants. The oil gushing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig directly imperils 32 threatened or endangered species such as the sperm whale, gulf sturgeon, manatee and five kinds of sea turtles (leatherback, loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and Kemp’s ridley), as well as the waters, coastal wetlands and National Wildlife Refuges that many of these species call home. Endangered species are also adversely affected by the chemical dispersants BP has applied to the Gulf in response to the continued release of oil resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
Mike Senatore, vice president for Conservation Law at Defenders of Wildlife said, “BP must be held accountable for the grave threat posed to sea turtles, whales, seabirds and other endangered wildlife as the result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Not only does the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico pose an immediate and long-term threat to endangered wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, but the company’s unprecedented application of chemical dispersants poses additional risks.”
Read the full release.
Posted in Marine Animals, Offshore Drilling, Press Releases, Southeast