A report released Monday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration concludes that the dolphins residing in the northern Gulf of Mexico are “underweight, anemic, have low blood sugar and/or some symptoms of liver and lung disease,” illnesses that NOAA scientists say stem from the BP oil spill.
According to a report from UPI, NOAA scientists studied 32 dolphins living in Barataria Bay in the summer 2011 and found that many are suffering from various illnesses. Some, they say, are too sick to survive:
NOAA biologists found that nearly half of the dolphins also had abnormally low levels of hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.
Since February 2010 more than 675 dolphins have stranded themselves in the northern gulf -- from Franklin County, Fla., to the Louisiana/Texas border -- a rate significantly higher than the usual average of 74 dolphins per year, NOAA biologists said.
The study, according to UPI, is part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, a broader research effort combining local, state and federal resources to analyze the long-term effects of the BP oil spill.
The Gulf was also dealt another BP blow Monday when a separate study confirmed that the death of a sprawling, colorful community of coral that once served as “vital oases for marine life in chilly ocean depths” is definitely due to the BP spill, according to an Associated Press report published on The Huffington Post’s website:
The injured and dying coral today has bare skeleton, loose tissue and is covered in heavy mucous and brown fluffy material, the paper said. Jerald Ault, a fish and coral reef specialist at the University of Miami who was not part of the study, said the findings were cause for concern because deep-sea corals are important habitat. He said there are many links between animals that live at the surface, such as tarpon and menhaden, and life at the bottom of the Gulf. Ecosystem problems can play out over many years, he said.
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SEP 20 Jim Brown is blogging about ISIS and the Middle East in this week's post. Mostly, he's posing questions about our involvement there, now and over the past 10 years. Should we be there? Why are we considering involvement now? All good questions - and most without easy answers.
SEP 20 Louisiana is once again winning a race nobody is running, by topping the nation in the gap between what women and men are paid for the same work, WWL reports here. Women here are paid about two-thirds of what men are paid, the story reports. Great.
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SEP 20 The Lens updates us on the continuing saga of the levee board that dared to challenge Big Oil. The terms of two members of the board have expired, and the committee recommending replacements voted Thursday. The vote, which was narrow, would preserve the suit's majority on the board, Bob Marshall writes.
SEP 20 This post on the Dads Gone Wild blog is an ode to the education bloggers who have been akin to voices crying in the wilderness on the subject of "reform." He compares his experience, listening to the "reformers" and wondering why anybody gave them any weight, with loving punk rock in the 1970s. It's an interesting read.
SEP 19 Here's an interesting post from the Advocate's Mark Ballard about some of the maneuvering that preceded a court ruling this week on the so-called Edmonson Amendment. It seems that some weirdness did occur on the eve of the hearing, and when this was written, Ballard wasn't even sure the ruling would occur.
SEP 20 Jeremy Alford examines the Family Forum's influence on the Legislature in this post. The ultra conservative lobby's annual "report card" keeps up with how well our elected officials are following its dictates, he reports, but also shows us how conservative our Legislature has become.
SEP 20 This post on NOLA Defender details the current discussion in New Orleans about accommodating bicycles in the CBD. Unfortunately, the catalyst was the terrible death of a bike rider, the post reports. Adding space for bikes sounds good - but it means the loss of travel lanes and parking spaces already at a premium in the city, the debate goes.
SEP 18 Here's a story in the New York Times about a New Iberia man who is trying to save his own little corner of Louisiana. A lot of people spend their spare time clearing their land, but Matt Conn works to restore the natural state of his property. It's a fascinating story.
SEP 18 This post on Howard Fineman's Political Read blog takes a look at the fine line that Bobby Jindal will have to walk if he wants to be the guy who can unite the creationists who don't believe in evolution with the Christians and others who do. On paper, Jindal could be the guy to do it, Fineman says, but politically, he'll have to start with the far right if he wants to get anywhere in the GOP.
SEP 18 Sure, Louisiana Congressional candidate Lenar Whitney made the first page of Politifact's "Pants on Fire" statements section, and of course that's always entertaining. But really you need to go check out the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website, which is run by former Lafayette journalist Angie Drobnic Holan, because it has a great new design.
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