The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: oil

Friendship Lures a Penguin Back to a Brazil – Year After Year


Screenshot from video by Paul Kiernan/The Wall Street Journal.

In 2001, a bricklayer living on the southeast coast of Brazil was met with a surprise outside of his beach shack – a Megallanic penguin lying at his doorstep, covered in oil. After cleaning and caring for the penguin, it returned to sea, and was presumably gone forever. But since then, the penguin nicknamed JingJing has returned year after year to visit his savior while feeding in the warmer waters off Brazil before migrating back to the breeding grounds off southern Argentina. It’s a remarkable friendship that would make anyone wonder about the sentience of these brilliant little birds.

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The US Navy Agrees to Reduce Deadly Sonar for Cetaceans off California and Hawaii


Photo: John C. Bruckman/Flickr.

Mankind is a blaring bunch, yet it’s only with the help of machines that we’ve been able to disrupt the so-called ‘Silent World’ below. And even with the advantage of technology, hardly any noise we create reaches a decibel as high as that of the blue whale, the loudest animal on earth, whose unmuffled songs would do more damage to year eardrums than the roar of a jet plane.

A couple of sounds we produce–namely sonar and seismic testing–more than make up for whatever shortcomings our clamoring may have in comparison the blue whale’s seemingly woeful melodies.

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Myrtle Beach Becomes 71st Community to Oppose Oil Exploration off the Southeast Coast


Over 150 concerned citizens joined the August 11th – Myrtle Beach City Council meeting to voice opposition against seismic testing and oil and gas activities in the state. The City Council passed a resolution against these activities 6-1. Photo by Randy Sturgill.

Yesterday, Myrtle Beach became the 20th community in South Carolina to oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling. Today, nearly 90% of coastal communities across the state have passed resolutions in staunch opposition.

“This offshore drilling is not going to be any benefit to this county and this city, ever.” Mayor of Myrtle Beach, John Rhodes told Myrtle Beach’s Sun News.

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Rebel Yell – How the Confederate Flag Might Scuttle Oil Exploration off the Southeastern Coast

The Flag of the South Carolina 10th Infantry Division Hovers above a Morning of Clean Surf off Charleston’s Folly Beach.
Photo (and Photoshop) Chris Dixon.

Today, I bring you a story in the you can’t make this s___ up department, courtesy of my buddy and former colleague Bo Peterson of Charleston’s Pulitzer Prize winning Post and Courier newspaper. On the very day that South Carolina’s Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to lower the Confederate Battle Flag flying in front of the South Carolina State House, it seems that a collection of southern Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives caused a national furor when they backed a measure brought by Rep. Ken Calvert of the great Confederate state of California. Calvert’s measure would allow the Confederate flag to be displayed at gravesites in national cemeteries. The bill led to a noisy uproar in the House, as we see below.

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Stop. Watch This Now. This is What Happened in Santa Barbara and Will Happen to Your Coast if Proposed Offshore Oil and Gas Proceeds


Reeve Woolpert carries an oil-covered Brown Pelican from Refugio State Beach. Photo from Ventura County Star via Audubon.

On May 19, 2015, more than 100,000 gallons of thick, crude oil poured out of a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara County. The pipeline is owned by Plains All American, one of the worst violators of safety and maintenance regulations in the industry, according to a list by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.

The local community, some arguably still scarred from the 1969 Santa Barbara spill, watched in despair as a pool of oil spread and began to wash up onshore over a 10-mile stretch of coast and continues to wash up today.


A day after the pipeline rupture, the oil sheen—and oil-soaked kelp—makes its way toward the shore. Photo by Brian van der Brug/LA Times/Getty via Audubon.

Ironically, members of the UC Davis Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) were in Alaska, attending a conference about the effects of oil on wildlife, when the real thing happened. OWCN Director Mike Ziccardi, who has experienced more than 50 spills in California and abroad, booked a red-eye flight from Anchorage to Santa Barbara.

“California is the best region in the world for oiled wildlife response,” Ziccardi said in the UC Davis Today article. “Through the UC Davis Oiled Wildlife Care Network, we have over 35 organizations we work with regularly. We train, do drills and exercises; we’ve built 12 facilities throughout the state for oiled wildlife.”

Regardless of the group’s preparedness, no community is truly prepared to witness the devastation a spill can wreak on their beaches and wildlife. The following video shows the impact of the spill’s aftermath to wildlife.

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‘Typically, the number of birds far outweighs the number of marine mammals brought into the wildlife care facilities. With the Santa Barbara spill, the ratio is much less distinct.’ said marine biologist Kyra Mills-Parker with OWCN.

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Watch as Greenpeace Destroys Historic Artwork to Protest Shell’s Deep Sea Drilling in the Arctic

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William Bradford’s “An Arctic Summer: Boring Through the Pack in Melville Bay”, up in smoke. Screenshot from Greenpeace’s YouTube video, “A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire”.

The imagery is of chaos, doom and gloom, but the message is clear. Shell is now within weeks of beginning their exploits in the Arctic Circle, and as protests like last week’s “kayaktivist” blockade in Seattle take place, Greenpeace hopes this video will help fuel the spirit of resistance.

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Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World, charred. Screenshot from Greenpeace’s YouTube video, “A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire”.

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Here Are Some of the First Images of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill


The resulting oil slick could stretch as long as 9 miles, so far. Photo: Brian van der Brug/LA Times.

On Tuesday, May 19th, an oil pipeline was found leaking near Refugio State Beach just north of Santa Barbara. The sheen is reportedly about 9 miles long and 50 meters wide, and while initial reports stated that the estimated leakage was about 21,000 gallons, a more recent article by the LA Times suggests that the amount of oil released by Texas oil company Plains All American Pipeline could be more in the realm of 105,000 gallons.


A pelican glides over one of Santa Barbara’s now oil-choked kelp beds. Photo: Brian van der Brug/LA Times.

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Here’s How Big Oil Obliterated a Tiny Island.


The island degraded slowly at first, but once the mangroves died off, its recession into the Gulf was eminent, and swift. Image: NatGeo.

Five years ago, Cat Island off the Louisiana coast was 5.5 acres one of the state’s 4 largest bird sanctuaries, a tightly-woven mangrove and a rookery for brown pelicans. Today, it barely breaks the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.


Image: NatGeo.

After the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, the island was encircled with inflatable booms to keep the island from becoming contaminated. According to chemists, no further action was necessary as they hypothesized that by the time the oil slick reached the tiny island, it would have been stripped of its volatile compounds. Not so.

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