* Anatomy of an Oil Spill Part I: The Sea Shepherd‘s Bonny Schumaker recently flew New Orleans blogger Dambala out over the Gulf of Mexico’s shelf. He photodocuments the flight from New Orleans over Raccoon Island, LA (Louisiana’s most important seabird nesting site west of Breton Sound) to the Deepwater Horizon site and then to Horn Island, MS and Ocean Springs Airport, MS and back.
One thing which became immediately apparent was the large amount of failed boom, not just at Racoon, but all over the barrier islands.
… After leaving Racoon, we took off toward the Horizon well site. We immediately ran into signs of oil and dispersant, on a rather large scale. We spotted a small pod of dolphins right about a mile from the Racoon area, but after that … nada. I’ve flown over the Gulf before and been out in boats, and I was very spooked at the overall absence of dolphins.
As we progressed, the oil became more and more apparent in different forms and textures. It was like Baskin Robbins 32 flavors of Hell …
* I don’t know how many of you caught this piece of news over the weekend but a Deepwater Horizon chief engineer revealed to federal investigators that fire and gas alarms aboard the rig had been disabled for at least a year “because the rig’s leaders didn’t want to wake up to false alarms.” Having spent several nights onboard another Transocean drilling vessel, this makes me feel all kinds of lucky and freaked out. Safety culture, you betcha.
* JoeJoeJoe pointed me to this NatGeo article with a photo gallery which explains how “UV light could help cleanup crews pinpoint hard-to-see oil that might then be treated with oil-eating bacteria.” A neat idea, but too many times have we started yet another environmental disaster to combat a previous one. I suggest that we dig trenches on beaches that have supposedly already been cleaned up and shine the UV light in there.
* Remember, BP’s expenses from the cleanup are tax-deductible.