Monthly Archives: March 2014

Barge carrying 924,000 gallons of oil now spilling it into Galveston Bay, off the coast of Texas.

Oil spill

Oil spill in Galveston, Texas

The cleanup of an unknown amount of thick, sticky oil that spilled into the Galveston Bay blocked traffic Sunday between the Gulf of Mexico and one of the world’s busiest petrochemical transportation waterways, affecting all vessels, even cruise ships.

A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of marine fuel oil collided with a ship Saturday afternoon, springing a leak. Officials believe only one of the barge’s tanks — which holds 168,000 gallons, was breached, though Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said Sunday it wasn’t clear how much oil spilled.

Crews were skimming oil out of the water and containment booms were brought in to protect environmentally sensitive areas of the Houston ship channel, Kendrick said. The ship channel is closed from the mouth of the Houston ship channel, between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, Coast Guard Lt. Sam Danus said.

“Unified command is aware of the situation and is communicating with the cruise ship companies,” Danus said.

The area is home to popular bird habitats, especially during the approaching migratory shorebird season, but Kendrick said there have been no reports of wildlife being impacted.

The Texas City dike, a popular fishing spot that goes out into the Gulf for a few miles, is also closed. Lee Rilat, 58, owns Lee’s Bait and Tackle, the last store before the access road to the dike, which was blocked by a police car on a breezy, overcast Sunday. If it weren’t for the spill, Rilat’s business would be hopping.

A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel, March 22,  …

“This would be the first spring deal, the first real weekend for fishing,” Rilat said. He says ships and barges have collided before, but this is the first time — at least this year — that someone has sprung a leak. His wife, Brenda Rilat, said sea fog was hanging over the bay Saturday.

Rilat, who’s lived in the area most of his life, doesn’t think the spill is too big of a deal.

“It’ll be fine. Everything’s going to be lovely. Mother Nature takes care of its own,” he said.

The collision was still being investigated, the Coast Guard said.

The captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind, reported the spill just after noon Saturday. Six crew members from the tow vessel, which was going from Texas City to Bolivar, were injured, the Coast Guard said.

Environmental personnel drive onto the Texas City Dike with oil containment booms for oil remediatio …

Kirby Inland Marine, which owns the tow vessel and barge, is working with the Texas General Land Office and many other federal, state and nonprofit agencies to respond to the spill, The Coast Guard said. Tara Kilgore, an operations coordinator with Kirby Inland Marine, declined to comment Saturday.

Jim Suydam, spokesman for the Texas’ General Land Office, described the type of oil the barge was carrying as “sticky, gooey, thick, tarry stuff.”

“That stuff is terrible to have to clean up,” he said.

Richard Gibbons, the conservation director of the Houston Audubon Society, said there is important shorebird habitat on both sides of the ship channel. One is the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary just to the east, which Gibbons said attracts 50,000 to 70,000 shorebirds to shallow mud flats that are perfect foraging habitat.

“The timing really couldn’t be much worse since we’re approaching the peak shorebird migration season,” Gibbons said. He added that tens of thousands of wintering birds remain in the area.

Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska. Suydam said that spill spurred the creation of the General Land Office’s Oil Spill and Prevention Division, which is funded by a tax on imported oil that the state legislature passed after the Valdez spill.

-Story compliments of (AP)

Advertisements

The investment logic for sustainability.

 

 

We at Oceanus agree with Chris McKnett wholly and fully in this very informative and on point TED Talk.

One of our vision is a world in which investment capital helps build a sustainable environment and an equitable economy- the same as US SIF (www.ussif.org). Give them a gander, it’s well worth the time.

The US SIF is an association for professionals, firms, institutions, and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive environmental and societal impact.

Sign this petition to help us create marine reserves now! – Greenpeace International

Marine Reserves now! | Greenpeace International (Click on the link above)

Marine reserves can benefit adjacent fisheries from both the ‘spillover’ of adult and juvenile fish beyond the reserve boundaries and through the export of eggs and larvae. Inside the reserves, populations increase in size and individuals live longer, grow larger and develop increased reproductive potential.

Marine reserves could even benefit highly migratory species, such as sharks, tuna and billfish, if reserves were created in places where they are currently highly vulnerable, such as nursery grounds, spawning sites or aggregation sites such as seamounts.

Large-scale marine reserves are areas that are closed to all extractive uses, such as fishing and mining, as well as disposal activities. Within these areas there may be core zones where no human activities are allowed, for instance areas that act as scientific reference areas or areas where there are particularly sensitive habitats or species.

Some areas within the coastal zone may be opened to small-scale, non-destructive fisheries providing that these are sustainable, within ecological limits, and have been decided upon with the full participation of affected local communities.

Marine reserves are not just about overfishing – even if one of the primary reasons for creating marine reserves is preserving fish stocks. They are increasingly seen as an essential global tool to protect the marine environment, including from pollution caused by the disposal of wastes (radioactive wastes, munitions and carbon dioxide).

(excerpt compliments of Greenpeace)

Oceanus is now live!

http://www.titan-oceanus.com

Oceanus

Oceanus

Our website is now in the process of going live. It’s been a long road and a lot of hard work getting where we are, and our project is finally coming to a head. We look forward, with enthusiasm, to putting our plans into action and cleaning up the toxic plastic debris in our oceans gyres, while creating sustainable green living for generations to come.

We would also like to thank everyone who has supported our cause, in any and every capacity, along the way, and we hope you are just as excited as we are to see our dream come to fruition.

Sincerely,
The Oceanus Team