Just one day before the one year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, NOAA announced that the last area of federal waters has reopened to fishing.
The last 1,041 square miles of Gulf waters immediately surrounding the Deepwater Horizon wellhead is now open to commercial and recreational fishing. It's the 12th and final reopening in federal waters since July 22.
"I am pleased to announce that all federal waters affected by the spill are now open to all fishing," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. "I thank fishermen and the public for their patience and FDA for its support and cooperation throughout this process while we worked diligently to ensure the integrity of Gulf seafood."
NOAA sampled this area between November 11 and November 14, 2010, March 12 and March 16, 2011, and March 28 and April 1, 2011, for potentially affected finfish, including tuna, swordfish, and escolar. The tests found no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors, and results of chemical analysis for oil-related compounds and dispersants well below the levels of concern.
"Throughout this process, public health and safety has been our primary goal," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. "This has been an extraordinary team effort and the reopening of these federal waters serves as a dramatic example of what cooperation between federal agencies can accomplish."
No oil or sheen has been documented in the area since August 4. At its peak, the closed area was 88,522 square miles, or 37 percent of Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tuesday, April 19 2011 3:02 PM EDT2011-04-19 19:02:47 GMT
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Director Trudy Fisher is pleased with the overall response and clean-up of the oil spill along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She spoke with WLOX about the one year anniversary of the BP spill. The MDEQ has been at the forefront in the ongoing response efforts, which included taking water samples in the Mississippi Sound and monitoring the clean-up operations on the mainland beaches and barrier islands. "On the clean-up and response...More >>
The director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality says she's pleased with the response and clean-up of the oil on this week's one year anniversary of the BP oil spill. Trudy Fisher says the biggest challenge still remaining is perception.More >>
Monday, April 18 2011 6:47 PM EDT2011-04-18 22:47:34 GMT
Monday, April 18 2011 9:29 PM EDT2011-04-19 01:29:30 GMT
About two dozen clean-up workers spent the day Monday picking up small tar balls along the eastern shore of Cat Island. The contractor hired by BP to clean that barrier island has a command center set-up on a barge that's anchored along the north side of the island. On this week marking the one year anniversary of the oil spill, WLOX News accompanied DEQ representatives on a tour of Cat Island. As our boat approached from the north, it was easy to spot the beauty of this barrie...More >>
Clean-up crews contracted by BP are making progress clearing the tar balls and waste oil from Cat Island. The oil giant recently purchased a portion of the island from private owners.More >>
Wednesday, April 20 2011 8:26 AM EDT2011-04-20 12:26:36 GMT
Mississippi's barrier islands were among the areas most damaged by oil washing ashore from the BP disaster one year ago. The subsequent clean-up operation on the islands has removed nearly four million pounds of tar balls and oil patties. Much of that work was scaled-back last month so clean-up crews don't disturb nesting birds on the barrier islands. "People are ready to get out. Spring fever is here and they want to get back out to the islands," said Louis Skrmetta, whose...More >>
Louis Skrmetta is hoping for a busy summer season for Ship Island Excursions. Opening day, the family ferry business took more than 500 visitors to the island. That's good news, since last year his business was down by about 60 percent because of the oil spill.More >>
One year after the BP oil spill in the Gulf, tourism related businesses on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are still struggling to recover their losses. Most business owners are cautiously optimistic that things will be better this year, but they know nothing is certain.More >>
Just one day before the one year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, NOAA announced that the last area of federal waters has reopened to fishing. The last 1,041 square miles of Gulf waters immediately surrounding the Deepwater Horizon wellhead is now open to commercial and recreational fishing.More >>
Wednesday, April 20 2011 10:32 PM EDT2011-04-21 02:32:55 GMT
Workers hired to remove oil from Mississippi's barrier islands have faced multiple challenges since that clean-up operation began a year ago. Right now, the island workforce has been scaled back to lessen the disturbance of birds during the nesting season. They've spent months walking the beaches on Horn Island: Dozens of workers searching the sand with tools and buckets. "The hand crews are manually picking up the tar balls, sifting through, put it in buckets. It goes from...More >>
Removing all the oil from Mississippi's barrier islands is a bit like chasing a moving target. As soon as one section of beach is cleaned, the dynamics of wind and waves take over, shifting sand to reveal new sections of tar balls and oil patties.More >>
Many individuals and businesses along the Mississippi Gulf Coast continue to wait for final payments for costs and damages as a result of the BP oil spill. AJ Giardina spoke with a few individuals who say the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is using delay tactics in sending out checks.More >>
Use the numbers below to contact the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center on matters regarding the oil slick in Gulf of Mexico: Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information:More >>