Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Earlier this month, I had the honor of recognizing former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for his dedicated support of ocean conservation. Mr. Bloomberg was our special guest at Oceana’s annual New York City Gala, hosted by Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, and Susan and David Rockefeller.
Earth Day has us contemplating our relationship with the blue planet in years to come. Last week, the latest report on climate change from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) laid down some stark truths for world: If we don’t make changes to the way we live off the planet’s resources right now, future generations will struggle immensely in order to effectively undo the damage that humans are causing in the present.
Four years ago, at approximately 9:56 PM on April 20, 2010, a massive fire and explosion onboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig began an 87-day response nightmare that would become the worst environmental catastrophe in our nation’s history. The explosion killed 11 crew members, injuring many others, and caused oil to gush freely into the Gulf of Mexico from a damaged wellhead near the ocean floor.
Yesterday marked the four-year anniversary of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although several years have passed, the people, wildlife, and ecosystems of the Gulf are still struggling to recover from this disaster.
If you love your local waterways or oppose offshore drilling, we have an event for you. Hands Across the Sand is the premiere worldwide event to promote a clean energy future and to end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Since 2009, their events have brought thousands of communities together in all 50 states and in 44 countries around the world to stand up for their most treasured places.
Last night, D.C residents might have noticed an unusual display outside of popular downtown landmarks like Union Station, the Postal Museum, and The National Gallery of Art. Leading up to the fourth anniversary of the BP Gulf oil disaster, Oceana staff teamed up with The Illuminator to promote our “Drill, Spill, Repeat?” message, which calls on the Obama administration to stop offshore drilling in the Atlantic before it starts.
Nobody who lived through it will ever forget the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy. Strong storm surges flooded lower Manhattan, destroyed homes and businesses, and wreaked havoc along the entire coastline of the surrounding tri-state area. The storm caused an estimated $68 billion in damage, making it one of the most costly storms in United States history. Only Hurricane Katrina was worse. Today, more than a year later, many areas in the region are still recovering.
As mentioned in our recently released Wasted Catch report, whales, dolphins, porpoises and other marine life are victims of bycatch, which is the catch of non-target fish and marine animals. Whales can become entangled in nets or trail fishing lines and gear that wraps around their fins, causing injuries and distress as the animals struggle to swim and reach the surface for air.
Yesterday was a big day for little fish. The Pacific Fishery Management Council, the federal body responsible for managing most U.S. West Coast fisheries, took another step toward implementing comprehensive measures to protect the ocean food web. In its first “ecosystem initiative,” the Council is working to prohibit new directed commercial fishing on currently unmanaged, unfished forage species in the federal Pacific Ocean waters (3 to 200 miles) offshore Washington, Oregon, and California.
Shell and other oil companies are focused on the Arctic Ocean as a potential new frontier for energy development. Despite the lack of adequate baseline information and any proven technology for responding to a spill in icy Arctic waters, United States government regulators have repeatedly made decisions to allow leasing and exploration activities and have granted necessary approvals. The company’s push to drill and government acquiescence put at risk coastal communities and vibrant ecosystems filled with iconic animals such as bowhead whales, walrus, and polar bears.