The Deepwater Horizon explosion devastated the waters of the Gulf at the time of the spill when thousands of gallons of oil spewed into the luscious marine environment that is Gulf of Mexico. Adding to the problem, toxic chemicals called "dispersants" were dumped profusely into the water to rid the unsightly oil from view. Unfortunately, the dispersants are yet another problem for our waters and our health. The chemicals do not disentigrate the oil wiping everything shiny and new as some reports seem to indicate. Oil is dispersed. Disperse - to cause to become spread widely.
Statement from Galveston Baykeeper board member, Sharron Stewart, about the Ixtoc oil disaster in 1979.
The oil was hit with dispersants at the site in the Bay of Campeche and again at the 25th parallel (Texas border). Both treatments were on the surface. When the oil reached Mansfield Pass (1/3rd of the way up Padre Island) , the channel was closed. Fishing net was strung across the channel, top to bottom. NOAA divers camped on both sides of the channel for about 10 days, (to keep the nets from being cut so boats could get through). They dove & observed that the nets were oiled evenly, top to bottom. They took water samples in the channel, and in the Gulf. They found 32 parts of oil, per cubic inch of water evenly for the 1st 30 ft of water. The particles looked like tiny pieces of wood bark. They were not visible from the surface. They were as much as 20 miles ahead of the patches and sheen that my team was mapping. We could not see it from the helicopter, even at 400 ft. It was aromatic and could be smelled by people on or in the water. Tx. A&M identified Ixtoc I tar balls on Port Aransas beaches for 20 years afterward.
The offshore oil field diver who did the YouTube video (June) diving a rig and returning a week later, confirms that what I learned During Ixtoc I is happening now, but this is infinitely worse. The first segment shows nothing in the 1st 30 ft, except an even haze of particles. Much deeper (100 – 120 ft) life was teeming. A week later, no marine life, even at 120 ft. The coral on the rig was dead. Total devastation. You can see something never seen before. Big red globs of oil that he called snot balls (or phlegm). That is what they look like (below the 1st 30 ft). The only way to find it is with a diver and camera or an ROV camera. I cannot understand why someone has not gone to court to get an emergency cease and desist order to stop the use of dispersant at 5,000 ft depth. That was never an approved use, and it is causing so much devastation.
Wetlands are an important natural cleansing source for the environment!
They act as a sponge and provide a rich source of wildlife for our communities.
Some wetlands are considered "Waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act. These wetlands are regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Section 404 Permitting process. When we lose wetlands we lose the services they provide. When a landowner impacts regulated wetlands they are responsible for mitigating for the losses in services the wetlands provide.
We are losing many ecological services everyday, lets protect and manage the ones we still have left.
To report development of wetlands in your area click here!