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Video: 49 Penguins Freed After Oil Spill Cleanup in New Zealand

Nearly 100 happy feet waddle to the shoreline of a beach near Tauranga, New Zealand. The 49 little blue penguins were released back into the wild after being rescued and cleaned up following the oil spill from the cargo ship, Rena, grounded off the coast.

Full story and video at MSNBC

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

 

Cuba Offshore Oil Drilling: Why We’re Not Ready

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: ?Background on Scarabeo 9? in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pi?on,)

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: “Background on Scarabeo 9″ in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pinon,)

As I write this, a massive offshore oil platform makes its way around the southern tip of the African continent on its journey from Singapore to its final destination within 50 miles of some of our nation’s most environmentally sensitive waters. By year’s end, it will be in operation to drill the first exploratory well more than a mile deep in Cuban waters.

Shortly after Cuba’s discovery of offshore oil more than six years ago, I met with my colleagues at the University of Havana who had just been briefed by the state-run oil company, Cupet (Cubapetroleo). Models predicted that 90 percent of oil from a blowout would be transported northward to the Keys and up along Florida’s East Coast, impacting Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. The question is, of course, are we ready to deal with such a catastrophe? Read more

Cuba Could Be Impacted by Gulf Oil Spill

Cuba’s Northwestern Coast Along the Gulf of Mexico

For the most up-to-date information on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s potential impacts on Cuba, please visit our special “Cuba at Risk” page.

Since its discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the Florida straits, Cuba’s preparations for full-scale offshore oil and gas development has raised alarm in the United States, particularly in Florida where it is estimated that much of a catastrophic spill originating in Cuba would be swept by Gulf currents. Ironically, it is now Cuba that faces the threat of a massive oil spill by the United States. The disastrous oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon now threatens Cuba, the largest and most biologically diverse island in the Caribbean, due to those same Gulf currents. To make matters worse, the economic embargo imposed upon Cuba by the United States decades ago makes collaboration and coordination exceedingly difficult during this crisis. Read more

Cuba's Offshore Oil Development – Radio Discussion on NPR-WGCU

Tune in to NPR station WGCU (Southwest Florida) on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at noon Eastern/9am Pacific. Dr. David E. Guggenheim, the “Ocean Doctor,” will be part of a radio discussion on “Gulf Coast Live,” for a program focused on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and specifically, the fact that Cuba is now rapidly pursuing the development of its oil resources in the Gulf following the discovery of a major oil reserve there in 2004. Read more

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Track the Cuba – Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2009

Mysteries of Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico Waters

Proyecto Costa Noroccidental (Project of the Northwest Coast) — a project of the University of Havana’s Center for Marine Research (Centro de Investigaciones Marinas: CIM) and The Ocean Foundation in Washington, DC — explores the most unknown corner of the Gulf of Mexico: Cuba’s northwest coastal waters. The next leg of the expedition is scheduled to depart Havana on September 5, 2009.
A green sea turtle hatchling at Cuba's westernmost point, Guanahacabibes
It is often said that those 90 miles of open water south of the Florida Keys — the Straits of Florida — separate Cuba and the USA. Like a hand-drawn blue borderline, the Straits are often invoked as a symbol of the 50-year-old Cold War that has frozen our two countries so tantalizingly close, yet so tragically far apart. But to the sea turtles, sharks, lobster, whales and other sea life, those same 90 miles of blue unite our countries with racing blue currents, unseen underwater pathways, and a web of colorful life that defies the perceptions of so many of the Gulf of Mexico, who know it only as a hot, muddy cauldron that spawns hurricanes and oil platforms. Cuba’s northwest coast – the verdant Pinar del Río province, home to Cuba’s legendary cigars — is the least-developed coastal region of Cuba. But as Cuba’s tourism trade continues to develop and as Cuba’s fledgling offshore oil development expands into the Gulf, it is hoped that the insights from this joint research will help to guide the hand of such development so that some of Cuba’s most precious assets, its coral reefs, will be spared the fate they have seen elsewhere in the Caribbean.

The majority of Cuba’s reefs are remarkably healthy, a fact made even more striking given that just 90 miles to the north, in the Florida Keys, nearly half the reef system has died. For that reason, and because of its unique history and geography, Cuba may hold important clues for coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean and perhaps around the world.

This project is providing the first-ever comprehensive study of Cuba’s northwestern waters and providing research opportunities for Cuba’s next generation of marine scientists — nearly 20 have based their Masters and Ph.D. research on this project.


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