Mobile will be the site of an unusual underwater competition for students this weekend.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is sponsoring its third annual competition for underwater robots beginning Friday.
Student teams have been working for a year to design, build and test their own remotely operated underwater vehicles.
via Sea Lab Sponsoring Competition for Underwater Robots – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
Last week, many schools in Alabama were on Spring Break and people flocked to the Gulf Coast. Spring Break always serves as a preview of the crowds we will see once we get into the summer months. Whether it is a local restaurant in Atmore, a gas station in Monroeville, or a hotel in Gulf Shores, each of our communities benefit in some way from tourism.
That’s why it is so important that our coastal communities are not unnecessarily restricted by federal policies. I’ve worked hard to support our coastal economies, including my vote for legislation to reform the flood insurance program and joining the bipartisan Coastal Communities Caucus.
via Fight For Longer Red Snapper Season Underway | Representative Bradley Byrne.
Thousands of Gulf Coast residents had their lives turned upside down when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded nearly five years ago, killing 11 rig workers and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days.
For most people, things have returned to normal. But for some of them there is no normal anymore. Their lives, for better or for worse, changed completely on April 20, 2010.
Count among those Bethany Kraft, now the director of the Gulf Restoration Program at Ocean Conservancy, a nationwide environmental group.
via BP oil spill thrust Mobile conservationist from local education to large-scale restoration policy | AL.com.
The conservation group Oceana is suing the federal government for more protections for endangered sea turtles.
Oceana claims the National Marine Fisheries Service is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to keep sea turtles from dying in shrimp nets.
The group wants the federal government set a limit on the number of sea turtles that can be legally killed each year.
via More Sea Turtle Protection Sought.
Five years after the largest oil spill in U.S. history, the Gulf of Mexico is showing “encouraging” signs of resiliency, according to one research institute working in the Gulf.
“The state of the Gulf five years after the spill is encouraging,” said Larry McKinney, executive director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, in a video news release. “It seems to have snapped back from that really horrible incident.”
via Gulf remains ‘resilient’ 5 years after oil spill, Texas researchers say | AL.com.
Even as members of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council discuss the mind-numbing minutiae of red snapper management at a meeting this week in Biloxi, other talks a thousand miles away may determine its real long-term future.
Alabama Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship said he has made three trips to Washington D.C. since December, accompanied by Conservation Commissioner Gunter Guy once, to convince lawmakers that Gulf states can better manage the popular game fish to the greatest benefit of the species and all user groups that rely on it for commercial and recreational purposes.
If successful, their efforts will take the Gulf Council out of the red-snapper m
via Real long-term future of red snapper management in Gulf up to U.S. Congress | AL.com.
Two stories I recently wrote about, one on big sharks and the other on friendly dolphins, sparked some discussion, particularly about who is responsible for what seems to be unusual behavior among our iconic sea creatures. In both cases readers pointed to tighter fishery regulations as the cause. Some see the regulations creating a positive outcome, while others see the regulations as too tough. Finger-pointing is becoming the hallmark of the hot button issue of declining fisheries.
via Blair: Readers are talking sharks, dolphins and fishing regulations.
Escambia County – A new proposed Florida bill would keep the locations of some artificial reefs a secret. Senator Greg Evers is sponsoring the bill that would remove the location of privately built artificial reefs from public records.
Florida’s artificial reefs bring in billions of dollars a year. People all over the country travel to Pensacola to dive our reefs.
Steven Hemmert, has been diving for nearly 23 years. He’s been a dive instructor at MBT Diving Center for the past three years. He said he doesn’t see the benefit of removing the location of private reefs from public records.
via Bill aims to keep Floirda reef locations private – WEAR – Pensacola Top Stories – ABC.
Land-based anglers say sharks they are catching off Panhandle beaches have been getting bigger and bigger, thanks to bans on longline fishing in 2010 blamed on killing sharks and game fish.
via Great white among the whoppers caught on Gulf Coast beaches.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As if the health of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery has not been the subject of enough scrutiny and political wrangling in recent years, foreign poachers continue to threaten the ecological conservation of the valued species with illegal catches in U.S. waters.
via Coast Guard interdicts Mexican red snapper poachers in Gulf – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Frying, searing or grilling is the best way to combat one invasive species that has gone from saltwater aquariums to establish colonies in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico from Venezuela to the Carolinas, Florida officials say.
In the past 25 years, lionfish brought to this country from the western Pacific and Indian oceans as pets have begun to pose a significant threat to native fish and shrimp. The carnivorous fish’s spikes are poisonous, and nothing in the Atlantic or Caribbean has decided they make a good meal.
via Lionfish: You have to eat them to beat them.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a report of a suspected tar mat from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill near Langdon Beach in the Fort Pickens area of the National Seashore.
“We did get a report and did walk through Langdon Beach area and surveyed it this morning,” said Carlos Vega, Coast Guard spokesman with the Coast Guard Eighth District Office of External Affairs in New Orleans. “We only found a handful of tar balls and did not find any tar mat.”
via Coast Guard investigates tar mat report at Ft. Pickens.
MISSISSIPPI – Scientists say they’ve found a 10 million gallon oil bath math at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. That crude oil is what’s left from the 2010 Deep Water Horizon Disaster. Right now, they say the mat is buried underneath the sediment of the Gulf’s floor. It is located 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta.
via 10 Million Gallon Oil Bath Mat Found in Gulf.
An executive for the BP subsidiary that faces billions of dollars in possible fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill testified Tuesday that it is uncertain whether other BP entities would step in to help pay a steep penalty.
via BP executive: Company moved ‘heaven-and-earth’ to cleanup 2010 Gulf oil spill | AL.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — A memorial service is scheduled Tuesday night for a Starkville man missing since he disappeared on a kayak trip in the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores earlier this month. The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville will host the service for John Switzer, 24, from 6 p.m. til 7 p.m. at the church on North Montgomery Street.
via Memorial service planned for John Switzer • WTVA.com.
MOBILE, Ala. — The U.S. Coast Guard announced its search for a missing fisherman in the the Gulf of Mexico, the second search they have been involved in for a missing fisherman in the past two weeks, has been suspended. The Coast Guard reported Monday the search was for a missing fisherman 70 miles south of Dauphin Island, Alabama, Monday.
via Coast Guard suspends search for second missing fisherman in two weeks off Alabama coast – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
BP says it should not have to pay the top penalty of 13.7 billion for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago. It took the oil company almost 90 days to contain millions of barrels of spilling crude. A BP expert witness called the company’s response exemplary.
via BP argues against paying top penalty of 13.7 billion – WEAR – Pensacola Top Stories – ABC.
There is a high risk for rip currents along the Gulf Coast through Monday, according to the National Weather Service. A large swell and a strong westerly wind flow are attributed to be the culprits.
via Rip currents pose danger along Gulf Coast | AL.com.
NEW ORLEANS — A government witness in a trial to determine civil penalties against BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill says the disaster hurt a wide array of industries over a broad geographic area. Charles Mason also testified Thursday that the harm was only modestly countered by BP’s spending and investment in the region.
via BP oil spill’s economic harm eyed on trial’s third day | News | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
NEW ORLEANS — Images of oil-coated birds and testimony about “widespread sociocultural harm” opened the third phase of a trial to establish penalties BP must pay under the federal Clean Water Act for spilling millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
via NEW ORLEANS: BP penalty trial dredges up gloomy images of 2010 Gulf spill | National Business News | The Bellingham Herald.
Lawyers for the government and oil giant BP head to federal court Tuesday for a trial in that could add more than $13 billion in penalties to the billions BP already has shelled out as a result of 2010 Gulf oil spill. Federal lawyers say BP should pay Clean Water Act penalties as high as $4,300 per barrel spilled after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion at BP’s Macondo well. Based on a court finding that 3.19 barrels polluted the Gulf, the penalties could reach $13.7 billion.
via BP fighting $13 billion additional penalties in 2010 Gulf oil spill | AL.com.
NEW ORLEANS AP – As manatees recover in Florida, their U.S. home base, more and more seem to be showing up farther west along the Gulf of Mexico.A total of seven stranded manatees had been reported along the Alabama coast before 2007, when a network to report strandings and sightings was created. Since then, “we’ve responded to dozens” of strandings, said Ruth Carmichael, head of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network for Alabama and Mississippi.
via Manatee sighting networks expand westward | FOX10 News | Fox10tv.com.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Three people in need of medical attention were rescued from their grounded boat by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Coast Guard crews early Sunday morning.At approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the three made a distress call received by Coast Guard watchstanders at Station South Padre Island.
via Texas Parks & Wildlife, Coast Guard rescue 3 boaters | FOX10 News | Fox10tv.com.
December 24, 2014 – Montgomery, AL – To borrow from an old song from the holidays that I was forced to endure for six years as a snaggle-toothed youngster, “All I want for Christmas are my two red snapper.” It’s obviously not going to happen in a couple of weeks, but there is hope the situation will look much better in the near future.
via All I want for Christmas is two red snapper.
To borrow from an old song from the holidays that I was forced to endure for six years as a snaggle-toothed youngster, “All I want for Christmas are my two red snapper.” It’s obviously not going to happen in a couple of weeks, but there is hope the situation will look much better in the near future.
via Outdoor Alabama Weekly | Outdoor Alabama.
ORANGE BEACH — Chris Sherrill, executive chef at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and long time friend of John Brunick, is leading an effort to have a reef in the Gulf dedicated to his friend. The first four structures in Poseidon’s Playground, a new dive attraction about three miles off Orange Beach, were deployed on Dec. 17.
via Friends are working to put item honoring John Brunick in Poseidon’s Playground – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Our beaches are economic engines generating millions of dollars in revenue from throngs of visitors seeking sun, relaxation and water recreation, and an eco-friendly experience they can’t find in Orlando. Our beaches and surrounding bodies of water define our Gulf Coast lifestyle, whether we’re anglers, kayakers, boaters, bird watchers or just beachgoers.
via Invasive species are threatening our ecosystem.
When it comes to counting how many red snapper actually are in the Gulf of Mexico it’s the responsibility of Samuel Rauch with NOAA. “We believe we have an accurate sample of this fish stock.”
via Red Snapper Debate Goes to Washington
Changes in red snapper fishing regulations resulted in 2014 having one of the shortest seasons for that species in recent years. On Thursday, congressman Jeff Miller will present proposal that could have an impact on those regulations. Due to red snapper management at the federal level, the season in federal waters was only 9 days long. In state waters, it was 52. That’s led to many asking for a new way to manage, account for, and regulate red snapper fishing in both state and federal waters.
via New Red Snapper regulations – WEAR – Pensacola Top Stories – ABC.
Sites along the Gulf Coast where researchers collected shrimp for testing included Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, FL; Mobile and Orange Beach, AL; Biloxi and Ocean Springs, MS; New Orleans and Lafayette, LA, and Houston and Galveston, TX.
via Study finds something fishy with shrimp labeling.