Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Environmental News March 22 - 25th

I managed to ignore most of the world over the weekend because my daughter was sick. Monday was not a pleasant surprise.

1) On Saturday, a barge carrying 900,000 gallons of heavy tar-like oil collided with a ship in the busy Houston Ship Channel, near Texas City on the western coast of Galveston Bay. Coast Guard officials said that up to 168,000 gallons were dumped after one of the barge's tanks ruptured and that oil had been detected 12 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico as of Sunday afternoon. Winds and currents have pushed much of the oil south toward Pelican Island, where the oil is coating rocks along the shoreline. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, has shorebird habitat on both sides, and tens of thousands of wintering birds are still in the area. The spill occurred about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of the Bolivar Peninsula, which is home to the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, a preserved area of marshy mudflats that's home to a variety of geese, ducks, herons, and other waterbirds. At least 50 oiled birds have been discovered so far but the Bolivar Peninsula has not been directly impacted by the oil so far.  

This aerial photo taken Saturday, March 23, 2014.
The debris flow was up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) deep in some areas.
2) Also on Saturday, a landslide (technically a mudslide apparently) in Washington State pretty much took out the town of Oso, a tiny rural community of around 50 homes. The landslide covers approximately one-square mile area about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. As of Monday night there were 14 known fatalities and the list of missing is up to 176, though there may be duplicates on the list. The landslide was triggered by the heavy rainfall in the region. 

3) Monday was the Exxon Valdez 25th Anniversary which I already wrote a bit about on Friday. NPR had another good piece about the aftermath of the spill http://www.npr.org/2014/03/24/292411071/25-years-after-spill-alaska-town-struggles-back-from-dead-zone 

and some commentary worth listening to as well ...  http://www.npr.org/2014/03/25/293876738/why-oil-drilling-is-both-safer-and-riskier-since-exxon-valdez


Right - that's enough.  I am seriously bummed at this point. We need something beautiful now.

Kogel Bay (aka Koeel Baai in Afrikaans) South Africa (Source)

1 comment:

  1. I do agree, environmental news can be depressing, unfortunately, but remember how absolutely nobody paid attention just 10 years ago ? We made a lot of progress ;) Thanks for spreading the news !


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