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Dear Reader,

To preserve your ability to recover money damages against Transocean (BP) and include your claim in this trial, the court filing deadline is April 20, 2011.
The trial will decide whether Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, can limit what it pays claimants under Maritime law.

Download the Short Form here.

There is NO Filing Fee, and a lawyer is not required to file the short form.

If you had a personal injury, loss of earnings, property damage, business loss, or other economic loss from the oil disaster, you may be able to participate. (Frankly, I think everyone along the Gulf suffered a degree of economic hardship due to BP’s malfeasance, don’t you?)

Please mail the filled-out form to:
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

For more information, visit www.oilspillcourtcase.com
or call (877) 497-5926

For another website to get a copy of the above form, go to:
www.laed.uscourts.gov/oilspill/forms/forms/htm

A tide of dead infant dolphins has washed ashore along a 100-mile stretch of the Alabama and Mississippi coastlines in the past two weeks, and marine experts today said they believe last summer’s Gulf oil spill may be to blame.

“I believe this is very very unusual what we’re dealing with. It’s a tenfold increase in calves that are dying,” Moby Solangi, the head of the Mississippi based Institute for Marine Mammal Research, told ABC News. “Every year, we get one or two babies that die. Now, we’re seeing stillborn, or preemies dying.”

“With some, we’re not sure if they actually took a breath,” said Dr. Delphine Shannon, also of the IMMR.

The gestation period for bottlenose dolphins is between 11 and 12 months. “That means the mothers would have conceived between March and May. If the mothers are delivering their calves now and many are dying, that is significant,” Solangi said.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, unleashing a torrent of 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — the largest spill in American history. At one point the spill covered about 70,000 square miles.

Solangi couldn’t directly link the two events but fears that the animals could have “ingested something that may have affected their reproduction.”

Solangi and his team say there’s a chance this could be an anomaly. “But in my 30 years of studying dolphins I have never seen anything like this. This is highly unusual.”

Click Here to read entire article- ABC News

Last week a member of Protect our Waters attended a lecture by Dr. Ian MacDonald, PhD, Professor of Oceanography from Florida State University, regarding the current state of the Gulf.  The synopsis below is a must-read for Gulf residents interested in how the BP oil blowout is affecting our waters.

Hi All,   I went to a lecture by Ian MacDonald, PhD last night at the Ringling.  He is a Professor of Oceanography at Florida State so has been studying the Gulf in its natural state as well as after the spill (which he calls the discharge–which implies that the players (BP, etc) have more responsibility as well as being a more accurate term). 

 He and his team have collected all  kinds of data.  His main point, which he states in the program is:  “The BP oil discharge was at least 10,000 times more concentrated in space and time, and about twelve times greater in magnitude than the total annual release from natural seeps in the Gulf of Mexico”. Natural seeps are very dilute and some organisms have adapted to them.

He showed slides of “fresh” and weathered oil slicks, noting that the hardened old stuff will not dissipate.  He also noted that although bacteria can break down a certain amount of oil, the process is dependent on oxygen in the water and that gets used up long before the job is done. He says“– over 50% of the total discharge–is a highly durable material that resists further dissipation.  Much of it is now buried in marine and coastal sediments.  There is scant evidence for bacterial degradation of this material prior to burial.”

He says they have discovered thick sediments of a strange material on the seafloor in which they cannot detect oil, but speculates that it could be the result of enormous amounts of dead plankton.  We all know it could also be some dispersant compound formed from reactions with other ingredients in the sea and never tested therefore, unrecognizable.
Other interesting points:

  • Oil goes to the surface without use of dispersants, and may have been much easier to clean up if, instead, we had availed ourselves of technologies other countries have  – and which were offered.
  • Because BP, Govt and NOAA well under-estimated how much oil was actually flowing out of the well, they used the wrong strategies to collect it.
  • He claims significant numbers of large sea animals who live near  the surface, lots of coral and inestimable amounts of plankton were killed.
  • Right after the disaster, Florida scientists from (usually competing) universities all over the state agreed to use their scientific resources as a team.  He mentioned that NOAA had no interest in their information.
  • There’s an organization called NERDA which documents harm to resources and tries to recover the loss.  It is difficult to prove  the value of plankton or other  things in a court of law (said Ian), but this organization has a literal definition like:  If you kill a pelican, you have to take measures to replace it with another pelican.
  • He was very impressed with the Graham / Richardson Report just released, but not very optimistic that any entity will be overseeing the oil drilling situation and safety thereof in the Gulf in the near future.

 

Protect Our Waters is working with Representative Doug Holder on legislation to prevent the abuse and misapplication of toxic dispersants in any future spills; and its place, the implementation of a massive, coordinated skimming and suctioning program. We will keep you posted on the progress of this and other bills, and alert you when you can take action to protect our waters. 

Twenty Years Later…

The Exxon-Valdez accident occurred during spawning season for herring. A year later, the fish came back in force, bringing a sense of relief.

But herring take four years to become adults. And like clockwork, the herring population of Prince William Sound collapsed four years after the spill.

Those that came back were covered in lesions, ravaged by disease. Scientists still argue over whether the collapse was coincidental or caused by the oil spill.

Since that 1993 collapse, the herring population in Prince William Sound has not recovered and disease still plagues the fish. Birds that rely on the herring have likewise not recovered.

Oil remains buried in Prince William Sound sediments and trapped in the crannies of mussel beds, setting back the recovery of sea otters. Scientists report that the buried oil is just as toxic as nearly 20 years ago.
- – - -

Prince William Sound took an oil hit of 11 million gallons.
Our beloved Gulf took an oil hit of 185 million gallons.
Do the math.

(And, if you think that by not eating seafood you’ll be safe, think on this: fishmeal (made from Gulf menhaden) is routinely fed to chickens and pigs).

Can You Believe It?

Mariner Explosion Off Louisiana

Mariner Explosion Off Louisiana Coast

Just when the oil industry thought it was safe to push for lifting the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf… we have yet another exploded oil rig! What kind of oversight has the government provided to keep this from happening again?


Quote from Mote Marine Laboratory’s Senior Vice President for Research Dr. Michael Crosby on August 11, 2010:“The oil slicks may be gone, but that oil is not gone. Over 50%, the majority of the oil is still out there right now. The more significant impacts are not the ones that come from the coming immediate oiliness, as disastrous and heart-wrenching as it is, the long-term impacts are very, very subtle but very, very significant.”


Protect Our Waters is now accepting donations to test the Gulf water off of the shores of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Please go to our Donate page if you are interested in helping out this cause