No End In Sight

posted by / News / May 19, 2010

Photo: John Paul KingPhoto: John Paul King

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe continues to wreak havoc on the Gulf

By Chelsea Rauhut

At this very moment, oil is spewing at an astonishing rate of 5,000 barrels a day, just 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. It would take about 100 days for a gushing hose to reach the amount of oil leakage the Gulf has in one day. It’s been 23.

“All of a sudden I’m getting emails while I’m in Costa Rica how the world is going to end,” says Sterling Spencer. The oil spill from April 20th is right in front of Spencer’s house and local spot in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

The seabed has been converted into an oil mine, constantly being drilled to satisfy the relentless addiction of parched oil fiends and simultaneously devastating our ocean, ecosystems, and the coastal economies that depend on them.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig sinking has resulted in horrific consequences for the Gulf Coast’s fragile ecosystem. Right now, relief wells are pumping concrete into the leaking pipes, but this could take months, and several places on shore have already been reached.

SURFING’S Senior Editor, and East Coaster, Matt Walker went to the Mineral Management Service (MMS) meeting a few weeks ago. “Basically, they were soliciting public comment on the seismic testing process which they use to find oil.”

“Of course, MMS downplayed the impacts and their methods,” said Walker.

They continually argued that looking for oil was not their only motivation, and that they were seeing what bathymetry was available for windmills.

louisiana oil spill

“Complete bullshit. They act as a sales team for oil interests,” Walker said.

This is an urgent measure, as enormous harm to wildlife that live in or near the ocean has already left an imprint on the ecosystem. Ocean and beach contamination, along with powerful seismic guns, have long-term consequences on the Gulf’s fragile ecosystem, whose species populations are at risk to change or even disappear.

The spill has not only been detrimental to the environment, but it presents a grave threat to the commercial fishing industry, and tourism businesses along the Gulf Coast are witnessing the devastating consequences.

A lot of Spencer’s friends work on the beach. He says, “Less people are coming and soon it could be closed down. It’s bad because this is their biggest money making season.”

One thousand miles of beach could be destroyed by the time this mess is contained. “There’s gonna be a lot of cleaning, and a lot of lawsuits around here,” said Spencer.

As surfers, we need to do as much as we can to help with the efforts of cleaning and raising the awareness of this issue.

The Surfrider Foundation is working to support oil spill prevention and response legislation by urging President Obama to reverse his recent plans to further open up our coast to offshore drilling.

Up-to-date news and volunteer information can be found at Deepwater Horizon Response, and its organizers are looking for people who can help.

For more information on the latest development and ways to help, you can visit Surfrider’s anti-drilling site, nottheanswer.org and you can track the effects on the Gulf at http://oilspill.skytruth.org/.

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  • max from canada

    With the amount of money and resources being put into oil drilling, extraction, refining, selling, they could EASILY find new alternatives through research. There are already tons of new ways to build engines that don’t pollute or barely pollute, but it’s the lack of a guaranteed return on investment which is what drives the oil industry, it’s a safe bet.

    I can’t wait til all the baby boomers who run this world slowly retire and disappear to Palm Springs, then let the new generation of educated people clean up their mess, much like we are cleaning their oil spill.

  • Vicki

    I’m the manager of the Ron Jon Surf SCHOOL and it’s so scary. Eco and business, and they are expecting it here. Thanks for your article

  • matt walker

    hey, y’all
    stay tuned to nottheanswer.org for news on a planned nationwide ‘hands across the sand’ protest on june 26.
    local surfrider chapters are putting together details on beaches as we speak.
    in the meantime, hammer your local, state and fed officials to prevent drilling in recently opened areas and to prosecute the responsible parties.

  • Suzanne Gibson

    I live near Sterling Spencer who was quoted. This is going to be catastrophic. Once offshore systems blow this around, not only will it cause local disaster but will most certainly “travel.” Who knows the outcome….it won’t be pretty. Local tourism is already suffering, birds, dolphin, turtles and fish are dying. We’re surfing like there’s no tomorrow! It’s just horrible. Fossil fuels are outdated. Let’s move on, we have the technology.

  • matt walker

    oh yeah: and Obama’s DOI/MMS is continuing to approve new drilling sites, even as they’ve failed to discover what lead to this failure:
    http://environment.about.com/b/2010/05/10/obama-administration-approves-27-offshore-drilling-projects-after-gulf-oil-spill.htm

  • Mark Schwabe

    The day the spill happened I knew it was bad news..the government did not act quick enough to help stop this.Now the not only the Gulf will be financially affected but the whole mainland if not the rest of the world as it travels through the gulf jet stream. I wish there was some way to get the word out what a huge disaster this has become. I know that you guys are working hard to do that. The whole world should be concerned on the outcome of this. Just my opinion. Thanks

  • J.R.

    Thanks for trying to raise public awareness and sharing the devastating consequences the spill is having on nature and man.We all need to take a look at ourselves and evaluate what we can do to help stop our dependence on oil. We can start by driving smaller vehicles, consuming less energy, and boycotting petroleum based products.

  • Trilobyte

    Let’s get this thing cleaned up, eh!

    Also, I wanted to run this by SURFING readers: I’m working on a grad school study about surf media, and I’d be really appreciative if you guys filled out this survey. It’s ten questions long…

    Here’s the survey link

    or http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BQLZHFZ

    Thanks guys… Appreciate your time.

  • http://premierpharmacy.net Premier

    I live near Sterling Spencer who was quoted. This is going to be catastrophic. Once offshore systems blow this around, not only will it cause local disaster but will most certainly “travel.” Who knows the outcome….it won’t be pretty. Local tourism is already suffering, birds, dolphin, turtles and fish are dying. We’re surfing like there’s no tomorrow! It’s just horrible. Fossil fuels are outdated. Let’s move on, we have the technology.
    +1

  • bella

    my father is working down in Mobile Alabama right now, as a manager for the oil spill. right now they are in the convention center waiting to be told what to do, and so far no orders have been given. they have hundreds of pieces of equitment but no one is using them. they are spending thousands of dollars to supply workers with laptops and even therapists and a masoose because of the “stress”. instead of wasting time something needs to be done, and some one needs to take action. now.

  • Ma Ocean

    You Stupid surfers. Your Americans and you have allowed your government to attack and destroy the world over.

    So enjoy THE OIL and may the SOUTHEAST’s ECONOMY CRASH so FAT ASS LAZY AMERICANS will wakeup.

    ps. Hands across the sand is a waste time. HANDS ACROSS TALLAHASSE or whereever your State’s government is located would actually be effective.

  • Jay Rosol/S.B.Miami

    This is one of the worst enviromental disasters of all time dont down play this.Imagine surfing in oil at your break our costal beaches from the gulf to the east coast may never be the same.Only time will tell but we have to do something get involved to stop this from ever happening again or it will.

  • captaincheesegoat

    To ma ocean : may you and your family die in a fire. Surfers aren’t stupid and are not the cause of this catastrophe. Sure someone for one of the companies that produced this havoc may surf but it doesn’t matter. By trashing surfers and americans alike you are a major part of the problem as a whole. Closed minded hateful individuals that feel they have to spite others to feel good about themselves. So go blow a goat you trash talking kook.

  • bqnbarb

    Every time you shove your key into the ignition of your car and turn it on, you are voting in favor of the practices used to get post peak oil. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for Americans (consumers of over 25% of the world’s natural resources). This is like 3-4 Exxon Valdiz’s a month! When the Gulf Stream gets a hold of this flow, the eastern seaboard and Europe are going to get the brunt of it. We are all connected!

  • YEAH

    @cheesegoat…

    You dumb wanker, go look at the picture of the sea turtles, dolphins and birds. Your right my family (the animals) are all going to die….

    Your right im a surfer and im not stupid. BUT YOU ARE!!