( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Edward E. Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virgina
Earlier in June of this year, I was invited to be part of an interdisciplinary team of wildlife experts, that was organized by the Humane Society of the United States. There were about five of us from around the country, who work with two HSUS disaster response experts.
We flew into New Orleans with the idea that we were going to spend a week, in the area — accessing the damage of the Oil Spill; looking at the Habitat at risk.
And trying to come up with an Inventory if you will, of the short term and long term issues, that needed a response.
Well the hour came, where we finally were — supposedly — given our clearance to fly over the area where the Oil was coming ashore.
[… and ? ]
Edward E. Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virgina … continuing:
Well the hour came, where we finally were — supposedly — given our clearance to fly over the area where the Oil was coming ashore. And again, got in the Helicopter, got ready to go.
Phone rings: ‘Flight Restrictions have been extended, you’re not allowed to enter the area. You CANNOT Fly over the Oil.’
Well nobody would seem to take responsibility for this decision.
We would ask them ‘Why? What’s the Issue?’
‘Well we don’t know that. We simply know that we’ve been ordered to revoke your flight restrictions.’
‘Was other aircraft getting in?’
‘Well we couldn’t answer that question either.’
THEY had decided we should not see what was going on. The really disturbing thing was, we didn’t know who ‘They’ were.
Since when has an “interdisciplinary team of wildlife experts” organized by the Humane Society of the United States, become a “National Security” Issue ?
Ever since the US Govt decided to cast its lot, with the expediency of BP, I guess.
‘Death Gyre’ in the Gulf
Firsthand accounts and leaked photos of a secret BP processing facility — possibly for dead animals — point to a massive cover-up in the Gulf.
An exclusive report.
Karl Burkart, MotherNatureNetwork — Aug 03 2010
June 10th was a strange day. In a surprising move, the Coast Guard instituted a dramatic expansion of the “no-fly” zone over the Gulf, preventing major media outlets like the New York Times and even scientists with top government clearance from accessing the area. This caused a wave of journalistic uproar and bewilderment on the part of researchers like Edward E. Clark of the Wildlife Center (above) who had been invited to study the impacts just prior to the media blackout.
More distressing than the media blackout itself was a lingering question in my mind … what on earth could be so BAD that the U.S. government would risk losing credibility in the minds of journalists, the scientific community and the general public to ensure concealment?
[…] it does beg the question … just how many animals have died because of the worst oil spill in U.S. history?
a few dozens?
a few hundred?
an entire species?
[Karl Burkart continues …]
According to the latest count of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Daily Collection Report (PDF), only about 4,100 birds, 670 turtles, 70 sea mammals, and 1 snake have died in the Gulf since April 20 (assuming 50 percent mortality of live animals).
It’s an astonishingly low number, considering that one of the largest pods of sperm whales in the U.S. resided just miles from the site of the BP Macondo well (aka Deepwater Horizon), a region home to one of the most abundant and biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world.
Compare those small numbers with the Exxon Valdez spill … Best estimates put the toll of the far smaller oil spill in Alaska at more than 200,000 birds (including hundreds of eagles), more than 3,000 sea mammals, more than 20 whales, and billions of fish eggs. The accident permanently wiped out the herring population of this Alaskan Gulf region. And that was an accident 1/10th the size of the Deepwater Horizon.
Based on the recent official Govt reports, the amount of Oil “still remaining” in the Gulf is equal to at least 5 times the entire Exxon Valdez spill. It would stand to reason the Gulf of Mexico “body count” would be “multiples” of the Valdez impact — NOT mere fractions of it.
So where is the collateral damage, in the Animal Kingdom?
Where to … did they all flee?
The Crime of the Century: What BP and the US Government Don’t Want You to Know, Part I
Jerry Cope and Charles Hambleton, HuffingtonPost — August 4, 2010
In May, Mother Nature Network blogger Karl Burkart received a tip from an anonymous fisherman-turned-BP contractor in the form of a distressed text message, describing a near-apocalyptic sight near the location of the sunken Deepwater Horizon — fish, dolphins, rays, squid, whales, and thousands of birds — “as far as the eye can see,” dead and dying.
According to his statement, which was later confirmed by another report from an individual working in the Gulf, whale carcasses were being shipped to a highly guarded location where they were processed for disposal.
CitizenGlobal Gulf News Desk received photos that matched the report and are being published on Karl’s blog today. Local fisherman in Alabama report sighting tremendous numbers of dolphins, sharks, and fish moving in towards shore as the initial waves of oil and dispersant approached in June. Many third- and fourth-generation fisherman declared emphatically that they had never seen or heard of any similar event in the past.
Scores of animals were fleeing the leading edge of toxic dispersant mixed with oil.
The majority of the disposal operations were carried out under cover of darkness. The areas along the beaches and coastal Islands where the dead animals were collected were closed off by the U.S. Coast Guard. On shore, private contractors and local law enforcement officials kept off limits the areas where the remains of the dead animals were dumped, mainly at the Magnolia Springs landfill by Waste Management where armed guards controlled access.
No wonder, Wildlife Experts ‘were told to’ NOT make those “short-term and long-term assessments” of the Impact of the BP Oil spill —
Crisis-Management expediency of the BP-Coast Guard “Unified Command” — must have deemed it [the Media-Flight-Black Out] necessary ‘to avoid an even greater public panic’? … It would seem so, per the official line …
It’s an Emergency, People — move along people [scientists, experts, reporters, citizens …] Nothing to see here … or so we were all told. — “BP’s Got This!”
Funny how the Wildlife critters —Never got that Gulf-Closed Memo, though!
A few local News Agencies however, did confirm the ‘Mass Animal Exodus’ … in spite of the early June, expanded and “unexplained” Flight Restrictions:
Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore
by Jay Reeves, John Flesher, Tamara Lush (AP) — June 16, 2010
GULF SHORES, Ala. – Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.
Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange phenomena.
Fish and other wildlife seem to be fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast in a trend that some researchers see as a potentially troubling sign.
The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.
“A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire?
Try as they may, those Sea Critters, CAN’T RUN onto the Land though —
They can’t out run “their fire” — like their land-based cousins sometimes can.
Maybe they can out swim it? Would be nice to have some Wildlife experts on the scene to document and explain, what was actually happening, now wouldn’t it?
No worries though, the official Govt agency designated for “carcass archiving” is on the Job. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is dutifully “tagging and bagging” the sparse ‘collateral damage’ of this, now nearly out-of-sight disaster.
When animal rescues fall short, evidence of oil spill’s toll on wildlife is collected
Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune — June 11, 2010
So far, about 1,000 dead animals – birds, turtles and dolphins — have been reported and they are being kept at undisclosed locations. “They go to various intermediate storage locations before they are shipped to a central facility for archiving,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Doug Zimmer, who did not name any of the locations.
Hmmm? I wonder if those “various intermediate storage locations before they are shipped to a central facility” —
are anywhere near“Magnolia Springs landfill by Waste Management” ?
I wonder if US Fish and Wildlife Service officials, have been allowed to entered that very private, well guarded Landfill?
I wonder if the FOIA Sunshine Laws, end at that trash-heap fence, as does the publics right to know, during TOO many phases of this Corporate-driven Crisis?
I wonder if “Waste Management”, has any NEW “Blanket Agreements”, with Agencies and Corporations, who hope to remain, nameless? … Who plan to remain Unaudited behind a wall of lawyers and accountants.
I wonder if the true impact of this crisis, will ever ultimately be known?
If its unseen victims, will ever be accurately and scientifically, counted? Will they ever be adequately grieved?
AND I wonder … Why for? … WHY all the Secrecy ?
WHAT on earth could be so BAD that the U.S. government would risk losing credibility in the minds of journalists, the scientific community and the general public to ensure concealment?
Maybe only the viewing of those uncounted creatures, could adequately, justly, relay the toxic horror
… of Humankind’s still unbounded Impact, on their fragile planet.
BUT such species-wide introspection, is NOT what, any self-respecting Corporation, or their Politicians, really want —
Such soul-searching introspection — Would.not.be.Expedient
… to help boost the next quarterly profit statement.
… the toxic Horror, in deed.
[Note: all emphasis, expressed above are strictly those of the writer, and not necessarily those of the sources cited.]