Stranded spinner dolphin.: Credit: qnr via Flickr. The latest NOAA report on unusual strandings of whales and dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico finds they’re still dying at twice the normal rate 18 months after BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Map of strandings in relation to Deepwater Horizon well. Credit: NOAA.
As you can see in the map above, the most heavily oiled shoreline still corresponds with the most dead whales and dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins are shown as circles and other species as squares. Premature, stillborn, or neonatal bottlenose dolphins (with actual or estimated lengths of less than 115 cm/45 inches) are shown as a circle with a black dot inside. Pink points mark the most recent week of data. Green points mark are all other cases since 1 January 2011.
All stranded cetaceans (dolphins and whales) from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/ Louisiana border.: Credit: NOAA.
Here you can see how the numbers of strandings have not yet stabilized or even begun to decline. In some cases they’re still growing. The magenta-colored bars mark strandings per month in the year 2010. The ivory-colored bars mark strandings per month so far this year.
In my Mother Jones article The BP Cover-Up last year, I wrote about the kind of long-term problems the Gulf might face not just from oil but from extreme quantities of oil in very deep water, as well as from chemical dispersant, including dispersant injected into very deep water.
Sadly, it seems that cetaceans—past, present, and future—may be bearing some of those burdens.
Guest Blogger, Jeff Boehm, Executive Director, Marine Mammal Center
On Friday night, last week, some 350 people came together at the San Francisco Ferry Building to celebrate The Marine Mammal Center, to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones, and to raise money! Oh, and to have a fair amount of well-deserved fun!
With presentations by Washed Ashore artist, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, and Melissa on her team, and our own Dr. Frances Gulland in the VIP reception, inspiring videos, a heartfelt and moving speech by youth volunteer-turned adult, David Krucik and the dynamic auctioneering of the education department’s Doreen Gurrola and Biz Stone…we hit those goals, and made some Gala history for ourselves in the process!
Consider these accomplishments and highlights… We are so thankful to Hewlett Packard, our presenting sponsor, for their tremendous sponsorship of the event—the highest we’ve received yet! For the first time in one of our fund-a-need auctions we received a $10,000 gift! And, this was from an individual who is new to our community! We invited in new co-hosts, Biz and Livia Stone, and through them gained access to a wide array of new friends and supporters. All the while, we enjoyed tremendous food, the beautiful music of the EOS ensemble, and one another’s company.
So many people make events like this a success: a board level committee, our many sponsors and in-kind contributors, the legion of volunteers and staff that lent their smarts, muscle and time to the event, the quality partners who manage the venue (gorgeous and fitting, eh?) and the guests who come to show their support! Central in the planning, was our own Kate Harle, who deserves kudos-a-plenty for the large and daunting task she took on and the event she so well delivered with professionalism and great grace. Thank you, Kate!
Oh, and the tally on raising money to help deliver an enhanced whale bus program to 5,000 school kids in under-served communities…you ask? We met our goal of 60K, and we met the total fund-raising goal of the event (we’re still tallying the final number; it may be more!)
Global leaders in the arena of ocean conservation, oceanographic research, and environmental sustainability gathered today in San Francisco to celebrate the launch of the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project, the global initiative of the 34th America’s Cup to educate the world’s populations about the issues facing our oceans and inspire them to act.
Driven by its commitment to have the 34th America’s Cup be “more than a sport,” the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) has set an ambitious goal with the AC Healthy Ocean Project to develop the world’s largest communication outreach program focused on improving ocean health. To accomplish this goal, ACEA has partnered with some of the leading voices in the ocean conservation field, including Dr. Sylvia Earle and her organization Mission Blue, OceanElders, Sailors for the Sea, One World One Ocean and IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Dr. Earle chats with Neill Duffy, ACEA’s Director of Sustainability