, , , , ,

Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in California, a hub for the world’s leading experts in capturing and caring for oil-soaked sea life, is the chief coordinator for teams across the Gulf tracking the status of turtles and marine mammals. He spoke to Reuters outside his office at a spill response command center near Houma, Louisiana.

No whales or manatees have been reported dead since the spill, though several sperm whales were spotted swimming in and around the oil slick, Ziccardi said.



Tue May 18, 2010 4:54am EDT

Oil spill’s effect on wildlife difficult to tally

By Raja Abdulrahim and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Updated: 12:9 AM 5/19/2010

Fisherman Buddy Wilkinson of Houston stops to look at a dead sea turtle on a beach in Grand Isle, La. The back of the turtle is marked with spray paint.

Reporting from Venice, La., and Los Angeles– In a region teeming with wildlife, so far there have been few signs of significant animal die-offs attributed to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Scientists offered one explanation for this puzzle Thursday: Birds and marine life that spend most of their lives at sea are likely being killed by the oil, but are dying far offshore.

“If birds are impacted by oil and they die there, they sink,” said Roger Helm, chief of environmental quality for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The same goes for manatees, dolphins and whales that may succumb to oil many miles out to sea, leaving little evidence of their loss.

Some oil spill events from Thursday, May 20, 2010

By The Associated Press (AP) – May 20, 2010


Managers of a renowned bird sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico say they have found their first dead pelican. Breton National Wildlife Refuge, about eight miles from the Louisiana coast, had been fortunate so far in avoiding the worst of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. On Thursday morning, workers found a young brown pelican on a sand spit with its neck and one wing matted in oil. Refuge biologist James Harris says the pelican was likely killed by the oil.


Heavy, sticky oil was starting to clog Louisiana marshes, while another edge of the partly submerged crude reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond. Small amounts of light oil have washed up in delicate coastal areas of Louisiana over the past several weeks, but nothing like the brown ooze from the spill that started coating marsh grasses and hanging in the shallow water of a wetland Wednesday. The wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi are home to rare birds, mammals and a wide variety of marine life.




Greenpeace activists scaled BP’s London headquarters Thursday to hang a flag accusing the oil company of polluting the environment. The group said the action was prompted by the Gulf oil spill and a controversial project in Canada. “It takes some cheek to go and use a sunflower logo when your business is dirty oil,” Greenpeace activist Ben Stewart said. BP spokesman Robert Wine called the action “a very calm and genteel protest,” and said no employees had been prevented from getting to work.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that a small portion of the slick had entered the so-called loop current, a stream of faster moving water that circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. Its arrival may portend a wider environmental catastrophe affecting the Florida Keys and tourist-dotted beaches along the state’s east coast. Florida’s state meteorologist said it will be at least another seven days before the oil reaches waters west of the Florida Keys.

Some oil spill events from Thursday, May 20, 2010

By The Associated Press (AP) – May 20, 2010



Legal recourse for BP oil-covered animals

May 29, 5:36 PMSeattle Pet Laws ExaminerJean-Pierre Ruiz
 Dead dolphin covered in oil  There is ample evidence regarding the negative effects of ingesting, inhaling or simply being covered in oil

Dead dolphin covered in oil There is ample evidence regarding the negative effects of ingesting, inhaling or simply being covered in oil

After the Exxon Valdez disaster (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (www.cdc.gov/niosh/) reported an increase in respiratory symptoms, headaches, throat and eye irritation, rashes and other skin problems among the clean-up workers. More recently, a study of beach clean-up workers and volunteers in Spain after a 2002 oil spill found an increase in DNA damage.

Of course, evidence is aplenty amongst the tens of thousands of animals who died through their exposure to the oil.

Alarmingly, the EPA recently announced that tests indicate that the combined effect of dispersants used in the Gulf and crude oil are even more toxic than each individually.

Folks in Louisiana can appeal to the courts, and no doubt BP’s legions of well-paid and well-heeled attorneys. But can the wide variety of vast quantity of animals dead, dying and permanently injured from the Deepwate Horizon spill seek their remedy in court? Well, the simple answer is: maybe.

While there are a variety of laws intended to protect animals such as the Endangered Species Act (www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/esact.html), there are no laws that protect animal interests, nor can animals file suit because, under legal terms, the animals lack standing. The reason is that, under the law, animals are considered property no different than your television set, your personal computer, couch or night stand. What’s more, most laws exempt certain animals.

To add insult to injury, while the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/mmpa/text.htm) are meant to provide protections for dolphins, whales and sea turtles that live in the Gulf, the Minerals Management Service approved BP’s oil exploration without the permits required by the two acts. MMS’s mission is “is to manage the ocean energy [ ] on the Outer Continental Shelf [ ] to enhance public and trust benefits, promote responsible use, and realize fair value.” (www.mms.gov/aboutmms/)




• At 840,000 gallons, the amount of dispersant in the region of the 3,850 square-mile slick represents an average concentration of about 30 parts per billion to the 10 meters of depth the dispersant will go – even without factoring in that a substantial portion of the product has already biodegraded.

• By comparison, the EPA allows drinking water to contain non-biodegradable contaminants — including carcinogens and reproductive toxins — that exceed the level of biodegradable chemicals present in COREXIT in the Gulf.

• COREXIT is meant to be used at sea – away from the shoreline and has been used in more than 30 countries, including Sweden, France, Australia, Norway and Canada. Aerial spraying of dispersant is not to take place within 2 miles of a boat or 3 miles of a shoreline. With 30-mile per hour winds, the maximum expected drift for the dispersant is 2,000 feet. Spraying of dispersant from boats should only be done with personal protective equipment. Mists of the dispersant will not stray far from the boat given the proximity of the spray to the surface of the water.



According to the the Defenders of Wildlife’s website (www.defenders.org/), “the Gulf of Mexico is home to numerous endangered and threatened species all of which face acute and/or chronic risks from the Deepwater Horizon disaster including: five species of whale (blue, fin, sei, humpback, and sperm); five species of sea turtle (green, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley, and loggerhead); seven species of beach mice (Alabama, Choctawhatchee, Anastasia, St. Andrew, Southeastern and Perdido Key); seven species of bird (piping plover, roseate tern, whooping crane, Mississippi sandhill crane, Everglade snail kite, wood stork, and least tern); four species of fish (gulf sturgeon, Alabama sturgeon, pallid sturgeon and smalltooth sawfish); two species of coral (elkhorn and staghorn); Florida salt marsh vole; and the West Indian manatee.”

The non-profit groups have also joined forces to sue the US Minerals Management Service (www.mms.gov/) “challenging the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) continued lax oversight of oil drilling operations.”

According to non-profit Envirovaluation, (www.envirovaluation.org/index.php/2010/05/11/the-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-putting-a-price-on-the-priceless), “Southern Louisiana contains 40% of the wetlands found in the lower 48 states. The seafood production from the Gulf of Mexico exceeds that of all the areas of the east coast from Maine to Florida, combined. Louisiana accounts for almost 80% of that Gulf production. Recreational fishing pumps billions of dollars into regional economies each year (Louisiana – $757 million). [ ]

It is a wetland complex that not only produces seafood but one that provides natural filtration, cleaning water of pollution and contaminants. That service alone saves us millions of dollars in annual treatment costs and allows us live by the sea and not a sewage pond. It is a wetland that protects our coastal communities from natural disasters. Every mile of wetlands can reduce storm surge by as much as a foot. That means billions saved in lost property, not to mention lives…. [ ]

Louisiana’s wetlands are in a state of rapid degradation. 80% of the nation’s coastal land loss occurs here. The state loses 25-35 square miles, or 25,000 acres, per year, the equivalent of one football field every 20 minutes. [ ] Louisiana wetlands account for 21 percent of landings for all 48 states and exceed $202,000,000 annually. Economic impact of recreational fishing in Louisiana exceeds $757 million annually and creates 7,733 jobs. [ ]

Wildlife-viewing alone generates over $517,000,000 of economic impact annually. This is saying nothing about the people dependent on them, like fish and oyster processing houses, hotels, boat dealers, etc.”

For the record, Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig built in 2001 in South Korea.

The rig was owned by Transocean (www.deepwater.com/fw/main/Home-1.html) and was leased to BP (www.bp.com/bodycopyarticle.do). It was registered in Majuro, Marshall Islands. In September 2009, the rig drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet and measured depth of 35,055 feet.

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the rig left killed eleven crewmen. The resulting fire could not be extinguished, and on April 22, 2010, the rig sank, leaving the well gushing, causing an oil spill that is one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history. It has been reported that a BP supervisor issued an order which led directly to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon.

For More Info: EcoStar Law, PLLC: www.ecostarlaw.com.





Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: an Overview

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
As a result, Corexit toxicity data have been generated for a vari- Corexit toxicity data evaluated in this study were drawn largely from


(800) 424-9300 (24 Hours) CHEMTREC

Our hazard evaluation has identified the following chemical substance(s) as hazardous. Consult Section 15 for the nature of the hazard(s).
Hazardous Substance(s) CAS NO % (w/w)
Distillates, petroleum, hydrotreated light 64742-47-8 10.0 – 30.0
Propylene Glycol 57-55-6 1.0 – 5.0
Organic sulfonic acid salt Proprietary 10.0 – 30.0
May cause irritation with prolonged contact.
Keep away from heat.

Keep away from sources of ignition – No smoking.

Keep container tightly closed.

Do not get  in eyes, on skin, on clothing.

Do not take internally.

Avoid breathing vapor.

Use with adequate ventilation.

In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.

After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of soap and water. (How can an animal in the sea completely encapsulated in COREXIT and oil do that with no clean sea for miles upon miles upon miles? Are they going to get out and go somewhere to get it off? – my note)

Wear suitable protective clothing.
Low Fire Hazard; liquids may burn upon heating to temperatures at or above the flash point.

May evolve oxides of carbon (COx) under fire conditions.

May evolve oxides of sulfur (SOx) under fire conditions.


Eye, Skin
Can cause mild irritation.

May cause irritation with prolonged contact.

Not a likely route of exposure – (unless you are a marine animal or bird eating fish swimming in it and coated with it, my note). May cause nausea and vomiting. Can cause chemical pneumonia if aspirated into lungs following ingestion.

Repeated or prolonged exposure may irritate the respiratory tract.


Acute :
A review of available data does not identify any symptoms from exposure not previously mentioned.

Chronic :
Frequent or prolonged contact with product may defat and dry the skin, leading to discomfort and dermatitis.

Skin contact may aggravate an existing dermatitis condition.

Flush affected area with water. Get medical attention.
Flush affected area with water. If symptoms develop, seek medical advice.
Do not induce vomiting: contains petroleum distillates and/or aromatic solvents.

If conscious, washout mouth and give water to drink. Get medical attention.
Remove to fresh air, treat symptomatically. Get medical attention.


Not a likely route of exposure – (unless you are a marine animal or bird eating fish swimming in it and coated with it, my note). May cause nausea and vomiting. Can cause chemical pneumonia if aspirated into lungs following ingestion.

Do not induce vomiting: contains petroleum distillates and/or aromatic solvents.

(from Safety Data Sheet for COREXIT


My Note –

Nothing I’m thinking can be printed here.

– cricketdiane


Restrict access to area as appropriate until clean-up operations are complete.

Stop or reduce any leaks if it is safe to do so.

Ventilate spill area if possible.

Do not touch spilled material.

Remove sources of ignition.

Have emergency equipment (for fires, spills, leaks, etc.) readily available.

Use personal protective equipment recommended in Section 8 (Exposure Controls/Personal Protection).

Notify appropriate government, occupational
health and safety and environmental authorities.



Soak up spill with absorbent material.

Place residues in a suitable, covered, properly labeled container.

Wash affected area.


Contain liquid using absorbent material, by digging trenches or by

Reclaim into recovery or salvage drums or tank truck for proper disposal.

Clean contaminated surfaces with water or aqueous cleaning agents.

Contact an approved waste hauler for disposal of contaminated recovered material.

Dispose of material in compliance with regulations indicated in Section 13 (Disposal Considerations).
Do not contaminate surface water.

Do not contaminate surface water.

Do not contaminate surface water.

Do not contaminate surface water.

Use with adequate ventilation.

Keep the containers closed when not in use.

Do not take internally.

Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing.

Have emergency equipment (for fires, spills, leaks, etc.) readily available.
Store away from heat and sources of ignition.

Store separately from oxidizers.

Store the containers tightly closed. (which means it is aromatic and dangerous, my note).


Do not contaminate surface water.

Exposure guidelines have not been established for this product.

Available exposure limits for the substance(s) are shown below.
Oil Mist (Mineral) TWA: 5 mg/m3
STEL: 10 mg/m3
Oil Mist (Mineral) TWA: 5 mg/m3
Propylene Glycol TWA: 10 mg/m3

Where concentrations in air may exceed the limits given in this section, the use of a half face filter mask or air supplied breathing apparatus is recommended.

A suitable filter material depends on the amount and type of
chemicals being handled.

Consider the use of filter type: Multi-contaminant cartridge. with a Particulate pre-filter.
In event of emergency or planned entry into unknown concentrations a positive pressure, full-facepiece SCBA should be used.

If respiratory protection is required, institute a complete respiratory protection program including selection, fit testing, training, maintenance and inspection.
Nitrile gloves, PVC gloves
Wear standard protective clothing.
Wear chemical splash goggles.

Keep an eye wash fountain available.

Keep a safety shower available.

If clothing is contaminated, remove clothing and thoroughly wash the affected area.

Launder contaminated clothing before reuse.

ODOR – Hydrocarbon


Heat and sources of ignition including static discharges

Contact with strong oxidizers (e.g. chlorine, peroxides, chromates, nitric acid, perchlorate, concentrated oxygen, permanganate) may generate heat, fires, explosions and/or toxic vapors.

No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product.

Based on our hazard characterization, the potential human hazard is: Moderate

If released into the environment, see CERCLA/SUPERFUND in Section 15.



Environmental Fact Sheet– The Superfund Enforcement Process–How it works: Describes process for remedial actions, authorities, tools for enforcement, state and public participation, Summer 1988, 5 pp. (20 kB PDF)

Amendment to the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan–Procedures for Planning and Implementing Off-Site Response Actions, Final Rule: 9/22/93 FR pp. 49200-18.  This final rule added a new section 300.440 to 40 CFR 300.  The new section is titled, “Procedures for planning and implementing off-site response actions,” and applies to any remedial or removal action involving the off-site transfer of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.



BP disaster: worst oil spill in US history turns seas into a dead zone

Telegraph.co.uk – Philip Sherwell – 10 hours ago
The BP oil spill has turned stretches of the Gulf of Mexico into a images of helpless oil-coated birds coated or dead fishing floating belly-up.


62 oiled birds saved; most dead birds not oily

MiamiHerald.com – 10 hours ago
It said another 478 dead birds, 224 dead sea turtles and 25 dead marine mammals, Alabama wildlife teams had found 127 dead birds without oil,


By The Associated Press
Posted: 05/24/2010 07:34:49 AM PDT

In this Sunday, May 23, 2010 photo provided by Greenpeace, crews try to clean an island covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the South part of East Bay, south of Venice, La. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Daniel Beltrá) (Daniel Beltrá)

In this Sunday, May 23, 2010 photo provided by Greenpeace, crews try to clean an island covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the South part of East Bay, south of Venice, La. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Daniel Beltrá) (Daniel Beltrá)

In this Sunday, May 23, 2010 photo provided by Greenpeace, crews try to clean an island covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the South part of East Bay, south of Venice, La. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Daniel Beltrá) (Daniel Beltrá)

On Sunday, some brown pelicans coated in oil couldn’t fly away on Barataria Bay of the Louisiana coast. All they could do was hobble. Their usually brown and white feathers were jet black, and eggs were glazed with rust-colored gunk.

When wildlife officials tried to rescue one of the pelicans, the birds became spooked. Officials weren’t sure whether they would try again, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Stacy Shelton said it is sometimes better to leave the animals alone than to disturb their colony.

Pelicans are especially vulnerable to oil because they dive into the water to feed. They could eat tainted fish and feed it to their young, or they could die of hypothermia or drown if their feathers become soaked in oil. Just six months ago, the birds had been removed from the federal endangered species list.

With oil pushing at least 12 miles into Louisiana’s marshes and two major pelican rookeries now coated in crude, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state has begun work on a chain of berms, reinforced with containment booms, that would skirt the state’s coastline.

“As we talk, a total of more than 65 miles of our shoreline now has been oiled,” Jindal said.

Jindal, who visited one of the affected pelican nesting grounds Sunday, said the berms would close the door on oil still pouring from a mile-deep gusher about 50 miles out in the Gulf. The berms would be made with sandbags; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also is considering a broader plan that would use dredging to build sand berms across more of the barrier islands.

The spill’s impact now stretches across 150 miles, from Dauphin Island, Ala. to Grand Isle, La.

On Sunday, oil reached an 1,150-acre oyster ground leased by Belle Chasse, La., fisherman Dave Cvitanovich. He said cleanup crews were stringing lines of absorbent boom along the surrounding marshes, but that still left large clumps of rust-colored oil floating over his oyster beds. Mature oysters might eventually filter out the crude and become fit for sale, but this year’s crop of spate, or young oysters, will perish.

“Those will die in the oil,” Cvitanovich said. “It’s inevitable.”






BP CEO Tony Hayward thinks environmental impact will be ‘modest’

Washington Post (blog) – Ann Telnaes – 6 days ago

By day 2 when his skin was peeling off, he could see how the marine wildlife and birds like it, and he might change his tune about the damage being so

Jindal outshining Barbour on spill

Greenwood Commonwealth – 7 minutes ago

According to the current ballpark estimates, 18 million to 30 million gallons of oil have already befouled the Gulf, easily eclipsing the worst domestic

But dig a little deeper and you can still see oil welling up in puddles when scientists — and more worryingly, animals — burrow in the intertidal zone.

“That really surprised us,” says environmental chemist Jeffrey Short, who helped lead studies on the after-effects of the Exxon Valdez spill for the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With the Exxon-Valdez, he says there was a “single pulse” of oil dumped into the frigid surface waters of Prince William Sound. The corpses of thousands of marine mammals and birds soon began floating to the surface and washing ashore. “It smelled real bad,” Short recalls.

In the gulf, the spill is much more complicated. Hot oil, close to 100 degree Celsius, has been pouring out of the sea floor for weeks. There has been much debate about the how much oil has escaped but a U.S. federal team reported this week that the spill appears to be far bigger than the Exxon Valdez.

While some oil has hit the shores along the gulf, Short says there is still a “huge slug” of oil offshore on the surface threatening to wash into ecologically sensitive marshes. And there is plenty more oil beneath the surface, in a kilometres-long cloud of oil micro-droplets suspended about 1,100 metres beneath the sea surface. The droplets have been created by dispersants used on the oil, and as the hot oil exits the sea floor and hits the sea water.

Recovery of everything from sea otters to harlequin duck and salmon populations took much longer than expected