Spilling Gulf Oil Well Could Exceed Valdez Every 6 days

Reports from multiple independent sources have corroborated reports that there is concern that the well head of the leaking Gulf oil well could be shorn from the well by abrasive sandy grit in the flowing oil causing an unchecked flow of oil from the well.

Presently the leaking oil is flowing through the failed blowout preventer and a long section of riser pipe that remained attached to the well head after the Deepwater Horizon sank. The kinks and bends in the riser pipe are restricting the flow of oil from the well. However, there is concern that abrasive sand particles are mixing with the flowing oil and acting like a "sand blaster" and eroding the interior of the pipe.

A source close to LEAN reported that employees of a contractor working on the clean up were told to be prepared to move out of the Venice area in the event that the well head were eroded to the point of failure by sand in the oil.

The reason given for being prepared to move from the area was the concern that if unprecedented volumes of oil were to be released into the Gulf of Mexico that air quality could become degraded enough to require an evacuation of people from the coastal areas.

In addition, the Alabama Press-Register released articles earlier today outlining just such a scenario with a leaked NOAA emergency response document as evidence.
(read more)


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Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration

As reports came out yesterday that the oil spill caused by the explosion and sinking of an oil rig in Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana had reached the coast, the Obama administration announced a ban on all offshore drilling at least until the investigation into the incident is completed.

Early Friday morning, the US Coast Guard received reports that oil from the spill had washed ashore, and while officials have not confirmed the reports, winds continue to push the slick northward towards land, and conditions are deteriorating, making cleanup of the spill increasingly difficult. The Coast Guard said it was planning to conduct a flyover of the slick to determine its extent sometime on Friday. According to the National Weather Service, strong winds and thunderstorms are predicted to continue through the weekend, hindering cleanup efforts. (read more)


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Bird Habitats Threatened by Oil Spill
The American Bird Conservancy releases list of top 10 sites at most immediate risk from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has released a list of key bird sites most immediately threatened by the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (as of Friday, April 30). The sites previously had been designated Globally Important Bird Areas by the organization, and they are directly in the path of the advancing oil slick.

"This spill spells disaster for birds in this region and beyond," said ABC President George Fenwick. "It is ironic that next weekend is International Migratory Bird Day. At a time when we should be celebrating the beauty and wonder of migratory birds, we could be mourning the worst environmental disaster in recent U.S. history." (read more)


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The Top Ten Sites at Most Immediate Risk from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

1. Gulf Coast Least Tern Colony
One of the world's largest colonies of the threatened least tern.
2. Lower Pascagoula River - including the Pascagoula River Coastal Preserve
The coastal marshes at the mouth of the river support yellow and black rails, snowy plovers and endangered wintering piping plovers.
3. Gulf Islands National Seashore
Hosts thousands of wintering shorebirds, including endangered piping plover, Wilson's plover and American oystercatcher (above) as well as brown pelican, black-crowned night-heron, white ibis and black skimmer.
4. Breton National Wildlife Refuge - including the Chandeleur Islands
Largest tern colony in North America, predominantly of sandwich, royal, and caspian terns. Also American oystercatcher, brown pelican, reddish egret and endangered piping plover. Also an important wintering area for magnificent frigatebird, and stopover site for redhead and lesser scaup.
5. Dauphin Island
An important stopover site for migrant birds including shorebirds, gulls, terns, herons and rails.
6. Fort Morgan Historical Park
An important stopover site for migratory birds including shorebirds, gulls, terns, herons and rails.
7. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
An important stopover site for thousands of trans-Gulf migrants.
8. Eglin Air Force Base
Best known for its inland population of red-cockaded woodpeckers, Elgin also has significant coastal habitat for shorebirds and wading birds.
9. Delta National Wildlife Refuge
Large numbers of wading birds nest here, including white ibis, snowy egrets and herons; thousands of shorebirds use the mudflats in winter and during migration, including dunlin, long-billed dowitcher and western sandpiper as well as endangered piping plover.
10. Baptiste Collette Bird Islands
This artificial barrier island, created from dredge spoil, is one of the many Louisiana coastal islands that could be affected. Birds found here include caspian tern, brown pelican, gull-billed tern and black skimmer. (read more)



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First oiled bird is recovered
Being treated by BP contractor

NEW ORLEANS - One oiled northern gannet, a seabird, has been captured Friday by contactors in the spill area in the gulf, and is being treated by Tristate Bird Rescue and Research, which has been contracted by BP to rehabilitate wildlife. The bird was recovered in the oil slick area by contractors and delivered to the treatment facility in Venice, La.

It is in stable condition and may be eligible for release in about 10 days.
BP is working with multiple oiled wildlife response organizations and local agencies to insure that all oiled wildlife receive quality care.
(read more)


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Venezia & Assoc. (APLC)

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