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Gulf Oyster Harvest Has Nose-Dived Since BP Spill
Monday, 18 August 2014 02:57

By Stacey Plaisance – ABC News – August 12, 2014

On this day, Slavich's cage-like net pulls up dozens of empty, lifeless oyster shells. "It's not good," he said, shaking his head as he pushed the shells back into the water. "We've never seen it like this, not out here." Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since a BP PLC oil well blew wild in the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. Even after a modest rebound last year, thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than a third of their pre-spill harvest. For full story, click here.

 
Dispersant chemical found in beach oil patties four years after BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, new study says
Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00

By Mark Schleifstein – Nola The Times-Picayume – June 26, 2014

Traces of a chemical contained in dispersants used to break up oil during the 87-day BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were found in material deposited on deepwater corals six months after the spill, and in weathered oil patties on Gulf Coast beaches four years later, according to a scientific letter published online this week in Environmental Science & Technology, the peer-reviewed research journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers found tiny amounts of DOSS, an abbreviation of the chemical compound dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, in both the oil patties and deepwater sediment. The research conducted by scientists with Haverford College in Pennsylvania and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts raises new questions about the assumptions on how quickly two COREXIT brand dispersants disappeared after being used to break up oil into tiny droplets, said lead author Helen Kirsty White, an assistant professor of chemistry at Haverford. For full story, click here.

 
Gulf operations still unsafe despite reforms -- CSB probe
Monday, 16 June 2014 14:02

Nathanial Gronewold – E & E Publishing – June 5, 2014

Four years after the deadly Macondo offshore well blowout and explosion, oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico remains unsafe despite scores of reform efforts, an independent federal investigative team warns in a report released here today. The accident at the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and seriously injured 17 sparked a wide-reaching reform initiative for offshore drilling regulations with authorities dissolving one federal agency and creating three new ones in its place. And a chastened industry responded by creating two offshore-blowout response teams and promising to double down on safety and assurance systems. But in a new investigation of the 2010 oil spill that could spark fresh debate over offshore oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concludes that all these changes aren't enough. For full story, click here.

 
Post-BP Oil Spill Gulf Restoration Projects So Far Lack Basis in Science
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:00

By Melissa Gaskill – Scientific American – May 12, 2014 – Slide Show

Some 160 kilometers of oyster reefs are being built along the Alabama coast to help mitigate effects of the 2010 BP oil spill. In front of one barrier island, concrete reef balls and bags filled with oyster shells now absorb wave action that had chewed a foot-high edge on the island’s marshy shoreline. Accumulating sediment is extending the marsh, and scientists report oyster recruitment and increased bird and fish activity around the sites. For full article and to view slide show, click here.

 
Gannett exclusive: BP shuts down internal oil spill claims program
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

By David Hammer – Gannett Shreveport Times – June 24, 2014 – Video

In a shocking move, BP has decided to shut down its internal oil spill claims program, taking away an avenue for more than 10,000 claimants who have opted out of the oil giant’s controversial settlement agreement or others who are not covered by it. BP won’t say how many claimants it served with the BP Claims Program over the last two years, but the amount paid through the end of April was a paltry $12 million. By contrast, over the exact same time frame, the court-supervised settlement program paid $3.8 billion. For full story and to view video, click here.

 
Study estimates BP spill killed more than 800,000 birds
Monday, 02 June 2014 13:18

By Christina Steube – Sun Herald – May 28, 2014

Between 600,000 and 800,000 birds have died along the Gulf Coast as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, according to a study to be released this summer by the Marine Ecology Progress Series. Pascagoula River Audubon Center Director Mark LaSalle believes the total is in the seven-figure range. Whatever the number, LaSalle said the massive loss is a "major blow" to the ecosystem. For full article, click here.

 
BP oil spill: scientists struggling to understand effects four years later
Monday, 28 April 2014 13:00

By Mark Schleifstein –NOLA.com - The Times-Picayune – April 18, 2014

Four years after the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout and the uncontrolled release of as much as 200 million gallons of crude oil, scientists are still struggling to understand how the oil and the dispersant chemicals used to break it down into tiny droplets have affected the environment of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and the Louisiana shoreline and wetlands where a large amount of oil was deposited. For full story, click here.

 
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