SE Florida Fishkill

By Ed Killer for the TC Palm, view original story here.

There may be no oil on its way to Treasure Coast waters, but there is more cold water.

For the third time this year, unusually cold water temperatures are impacting the area’s marine environment. In January, frigid cold fronts generated chilling water temperatures experienced in South Florida only once per generation. But for a few weeks in May and June, and now again in August, upwellings of cold water from the depths of the Florida Straits have slid into the coastal shallows.

According to captains participating in the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Junior Angler Tournament on Saturday, water temperatures on the surface of the sea ranged from 82 degrees in 300 feet of water to 69 degrees in 70 feet of water.

“Out deep everything seemed fine on the surface,” explained Hotty Toddy Capt. James Ewing, “but several times I marked on the bottom what looked like bait (on the depth finder), but wasn’t able to get a bite.”

Like most anglers discovered, fishing activity was slow Saturday south of Fort Pierce to beyond Jupiter Inlet. Ewing figured it was probably cold on the bottom, but received confirmation of it when he heard two divers nearby talking to each other over the VHF radio.

“One diver south of Fort Pierce said it was 50 degrees in 80 feet of water,” he said. “As we trolled in closer to shore we started seeing the dead fish floating on the surface from about 200 feet of water into about 90 feet of water.”

Ewing said other than January’s fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon, he has never seen anything like it. Scattered in the currents were “every kind of snapper” including undersized mutton snapper, lane snapper, triggerfish and various reef fish like angelfish and parrot fish.

An upwelling is a meteorological phenomenon that takes place when surface waters are moved by winds and replaced by cooler water that arrives from the depths offshore. The challenge for anglers, scuba divers and snorkelers is to figure out when it will occur, how long it will last and what effects it will have on ocean activities and marine life.

Mitchell Roffer, a PhD. who founded Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service (ROFFS), said upwellings along Eastern Florida are created by persistent wind conditions from one of a few directions.

“Any kind of persistent winds that force surface waters farther offshore can generate an upwelling,” Roffer said. “As the surface water begins to move, other water will move in to replace it.”

Roffer noted that those winds can be southeast, southwest or even west winds. Sometimes the water that moves in comes from the north or south and in the summertime, it is common for that water to come from the depths of the Florida Straits.

“It is generally greener, more nutrient-rich water,” Roffer said. “Typically, although the temperatures will drop noticeably, it won’t hurt the fish species in a given area.”

But sometimes it does.

In 2008, Stuart diver Kerry Dillon recalled diving the Halsey wreck off St. Lucie County in 80 feet of water and seeing no fish whatsoever.

“I remember it being 47 degrees at another site and seeing gag grouper near the bottom completely motionless,” he said. That year, legal-sized grouper and snapper were found floating on the surface by fishermen.


Matt Simmons Dead

Simmons, a well respected investment banker for the oil industry who had come into scrutiny lately for his criticism of BP and claims of a massive cover-up was found dead. Simmons had retired from the oil industry to pursue development of offshore wind turbines.

We’ll see about this…

BP begins downsizing oil cleanup crews

By Rena Havner Philips, Press Register

Two weeks after BP PLC placed a temporary cap on the well spewing millions of gallons daily into the Gulf of Mexico, the company on Thursday continued to downsize the number of local workers hired to skim oil from the water, scour beaches and perform other cleanup tasks.

While acknowledging that complaints about spill residue persist, BP spokesman Ray Melick said the oil giant would pursue cleanup efforts until “the beaches are exactly the way people expect them to be.”

“There’s no question it’s not perfect,” Melick said. “I’d love to say we’ll have it done in two months or six months, but I don’t know. It won’t be a job that’s done until everybody feels like it’s done.”

Meanwhile, Alabama officials have sent samples of fish, shrimp and oysters from the Mississippi Sound to a Pascagoula laboratory to determine whether waters there can be reopened for fishing, said Maj. Chris Blankenship of Alabama Marine Resources.

If the samples pass sensory tests — which include smell tests — they will be sent to a federal Food and Drug Administration laboratory for either chemical or fluorescent testing.

Results are expected within a week.

State officials are awaiting permission from the FDA to take similar samples from Gulf waters within three miles of the coast and from Mobile Bay waters just north of the Fort Morgan peninsula.

It has been 102 days since the BP-owned Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf, killing 11 and causing the nation’s worst-ever oil spill.

On the Baldwin County coastline, crews continue working with sifters during daylight hours to separate oil from the sand, said Marcus Little of Semmes, who has served in the cleanup for the past three weeks.

At night, machines sweep miles of beaches. Essentially, said Gulf Shores City Administrator Steve Garman, the entire beach in his city gets cleaned every two nights.

As of Wednesday, however, the number of local people working on recovery efforts had declined significantly from its height a couple of weeks ago: 1,099 people were cleaning Alabama beaches and 181 boat operators were working in Alabama waters as part of the Vessels of Opportunity program.

Little said that he has been notified that today would be his last day.

Also, Little said, plenty of small specks of tarballs are being left behind, and there’s a layer of a cola-colored substance an inch or so below the surface. The latter, he said, makes the sand look like “vanilla ice cream with chocolate swirls.”

“If you bring a shovel, you’ll see that the top of the sand is littered with what looks like chocolate chips, but they’re actually tiny tarballs,” Little said. “I clean the beaches, supposedly, and I find it very disturbing.”

Garman said city leaders are coordinating with BP to make sure that the work is being done properly. He said that cleanup efforts have improved in recent weeks after getting off to a rough start.

He said he knows that some small specks are being left behind, but that’ll change this winter, when contractors will do a “deep cleaning” of the sand. Workers will dig up sand inches below the surface, “digging deeper and sifting finer,” he said.

“We’re not going to do that until a) there’s no indication of more oil coming in at all, and b) it’s cool enough so the tar is easier to pick up,” Garman said.

For now, “We can’t get 100 percent. We never anticipated that,” Garman said. “We’re getting all we can.”

Cleanup methods themselves have come a long way, Melick said, as new inventions have been introduced to aid in the effort.

“We started with guys with shovels and bags. Behind that came front-end loaders,” Melick said. “Over the course of the summer, we started using a better rake system, sifting through the sand. If people have been out there, they’ve seen the system improved.”

Melick said BP may introduce even better cleanup technology soon.

Elsewhere Thursday, the government’s point man for the Gulf spill said that preparations for an attempt to plug the gusher are going well enough that the timeline for a “static kill” may be moved up.

The static kill would involve pumping mud into the top of the well and possibly sealing it with cement, forcing the oil down into its natural reservoir. Next, a relief well would make the “bottom kill,” pumping in mud and cement for a permanent fix.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Thursday that crews would lay in the casing for the relief well later in the day. That could accelerate the work on the static kill, which he previously said would begin late Sunday or early Monday.

Allen also said there is now little chance that any of the spilled oil will reach the East Coast, and the odds will go to zero as the well is shut for good.

Locally, at least 120 people have gone to emergency rooms, clinics and urgent care centers since May 14 complaining of ailments thought to be related to the oil spill, Alabama Department of Public Health officials reported Thursday.

Fifty-four of the patients complaining of oil-caused symptoms were exposed via inhalation, 26 by contact and three through ingestion. Also, nine patients reported multiple exposures, and 28 were exposed indirectly, according to the health agency.

There were no reports Thursday of new oil contamination arriving on Alabama’s beaches. Light nonmetallic sheen was reported in the Gulf about two miles south of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.

View the original article here.

Oil Spill Exaggerated, Pretext for Corexit?

by Ken Price

The story from Mathew Simmons (that the oil well was never capped and was still raging at full speed) has been deemed to be a misleading fraud. [Price & fell for it. Apologies]  It looks like the purpose of his “disclosure” was to get us to believe that the major cause of death in the gulf region is from methane gas and abiotic oil, WHEN IN FACT, the cause of death is corexit.

It now looks like we do not have an oil leak at all but a tar leak.  I will be following up on this, but as you continue reading you will find good reason to believe that what has actually been leaking is from an asphalt volcano, and this could have been a normal seepage of such material.  Asphalt is consumed by microbes and does not pose a threat to the oceans nor sea life.  In fact, it provides billions of lower food-chain building blocks.

So this is what we have left to go on at the moment:

1.  Corexit is lethal.  It has been tested in the Valdez disaster and it is known to dramatically reduce the lives of all humans who work around it and breathe it.  It should never have been used again.

2.  Continue to stay away from areas along the shoreline.  Do not swim in the waters.

3.  There is a massive media illusion being fed to the public.  This has been brought to light by the following:

Faked pictures of the well supposedly being capped.

Faked pictures of the BP supposed “command center”.

Zero callbacks have been made from the supposed BP “help center”

Ground cleanup crews leaving the scene within an hour of the president’s departure of the area he visited.

Up to two feet of hauled-in sand being dumped on beaches in front of resorts during the night for photo ops the next day looking ok.

Public access denied at most beaches along with speaking with any cleanup workers, flying over the gulf region, photographing BP or workers, access to records (how much dispersants, what’s in it, etc.).

Few people know anything about thousands of workers who have become ill working along the shores and off shore in boats.

What a fact finding mess!

4.  Very little oil has hit the gulf coast beaches and this is after days of prevailing winds from the south.   So if the oil was ever there in the first place, dispersant or not, it would be reaching the shores now.  What has reached the shore has been mostly tar, and overall, after all this time, the amounts have been minuscule.  Some of the pictures have shown the “oil” to be reddish, others have shown it to be white. more here…

From Truthout-Health Hazards in Gulf Warrant Evacuations

“When Louisiana residents ask marine toxicologist and community activist Riki Ott what she would do if she lived in the Gulf with children, she tells them she would leave immediately. “It’s that bad. We need to start talking about who’s going to pay for evacuations.”

In 1989, Ott, who lives in Cordova, Alaska, experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdex oil disaster. For the past two months, she’s been traveling back and forth between Louisiana and Florida to gather information about what’s really happening and share the lessons she learned about long-term illnesses and deaths of cleanup workers and residents. In late May, she began meeting people in the Gulf with symptoms like headaches, dizziness, sore throats, burning eyes, rashes and blisters that are so deep, they’re leaving scars. People are asking, “What’s happening to me?”

She says the culprit is almost two million gallons of Corexit, the dispersant BP is using to break up and hide the oil below the ocean’s surface. “It’s an industrial solvent. It’s a degreaser. It’s chewing up boat engines off-shore. It’s chewing up dive gear on-shore. Of course it’s chewing up people’s skin. The doctors are saying the solvents are making the oil worse.”

In a widely watched YouTube video, from Project Gulf Impact, a project that aims to give Gulf residents a voice, Chris Pincetich, a marine biologist and campaigner with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, said Coast Guard planes are flying overhead at night spraying Corexit on the water and on land.” more here…

Lake Worth Beach

Below is an article I contributed to a series for the Palm Beach Post, you can also see it here.

Having grown up on the Great Lakes, I have always been a sucker for a great beach and clear water. In fact, Florida’s legendary coastline and eternal summer weather was definitely among the top factors for my recent relocation. Fortunately, I landed just a couple miles from Lake Worth Beach.

The beach draws a nice mix of locals and tourists and has a laid back, comfortable feel. On a recent weekend, the surf was pretty rough and choppy with bathers jumping good sized waves and surfers taking full advantage of the conditions. A perfect place to recharge after a long week, most are content to relax-here people watching and picnicking are raised to an art form!

If you are feeling a little sheepish about crossing paths with wayward sea life, you can opt for the Olympic sized pool.  Located next to the pool, the historic Casino building houses a couple of delightful souvenir and beach shops. Food choices include a pizza shop, ice cream parlor and the legendary John G’s restaurant. Expect to wait in a line that snakes around the building for beach side breakfast and lunch- it’s worth it and moves pretty fast. The casino complex was first built in the 1920’s and is currently in the process of a multi-phase rehabilitation project tentatively slated to start next summer.

The recently repaired pier, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the beach and ocean, seems to be a popular place for anglers to drop a line or for a leisurely stroll after a bite at Benny’s on the Beach. Right on the pier, Benny’s serves deliciously huge portions of breakfast and lunch daily until 5pm. If you prefer to have your sustenance in liquid form, Benny’s also has an open air bar.

I live for the hours I spend relaxing, reading and swimming at the beach-for me, there is no place I would rather be. Maybe one day I’ll even be brave enough to get on a surf board!

BP Photoshopping “Comand Center” Photos?

It’s something I’ve suspected all along, BP faking photos. Actually, I’m even more suspicious than that. I have doubted that the live video feeds have ever originated anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. John Aravosis at nailed it when he compares the response to Capricorn One. For those not familiar with the film, it stars good old OJ Simpson as an astronaut destined for the moon. The Juice, James Brolin and Elliott Gould  find themselves in the middle of the desert in a sound stage, forced to stage the lunar landing. It’s a great movie – I am not being sarcastic!

Check out this link to the photos in question. Here too!