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Good morning and welcome to Monday's edition of Gulf Watchers.
Since Friday there has been much ship activity around the area of the Macondo Well site. Peraspera summarized ship locations as of last night here.
The presence of the drilling ship West Sirius might lead one to believe that BP has plans to drll another well in this massive reservoir.
Over the weekend peraspera captured screenshots of the bubbles and droplets that we have observed (when BP lets us) coming from the base of the wellhead since the well was supposedly killed September 19 here.
A new piece of equipment has been observed and is speculated to be a floating riser manufactured by RTI Energy Systems. Screenshot and info on RTI here.
Greenpeace is using a submarine that they launch from their Arctic Sunrise to do research in the Gulf. This update on the truly independent research Greenpeace is doing includes pictures of some of the interesting equipment being used. - peraspera
So it's pretty exciting to be out here on the Arctic Sunrise piloting a submarine, working with scientists to improve our understanding of the hidden, vulnerable, and mysterious deep sea. Unfortunately, at the same time we are trying to learn what makes deep sea corals and their neighbors tick, we have to study how they respond to exposure to oil from the BP Horizon disaster. So much oil and dispersant were released into the Gulf that almost everything alive here was exposed to it, including deep sea corals.
This morning, we dropped a benthic lander in Viosca Knoll, in about 1400 feet of water. Picture a lunar lander, and you won't be far off - especially when you remember that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the deep sea. Next year, Steve Ross (University of North Carolina Wilmington) and Sandra Brooke (Oregon Institute of Marine Biology/Marine Conservation Biology Institute) plan to retrieve the lander and collect new data on coral growth and reproduction, and on what location conditions have been like for these animals since the lander was deployed.
University of South Florida finds oil on beach thought not to be contaminated. This story highlights a concern that all contaminated beaches may not have been identified. - peraspera
A researcher for the University of South Florida Coastal Research Lab recently examined Walton County beaches under UV light and says they are "still contaminated" after the BP oil spill.
Rip Kirby, a graduate student, held a high-powered ultraviolet light over one stretch of beach, and it illuminated patches of what he says are "accumulation of petroleum product and dispersant." He apologized for not taking samples sooner.
"This beach is just as contaminated as the rest, I’m sorry," Kirby said, adding, "I took the local government officials’ word that these beaches were not impacted and stopped my testing in Destin."
Part of the problem, Kirby said, is the methods used by BP oil spill cleanup crews.
"This was likely blown up here by the wind," he said of the oil, which he says is present all the way to the dune line but is not visible to the naked eye. "When they scoop the tar balls up in the contaminated nets they are dispersing contaminated oil to all the sand in the nets."
Kirby collected his own samples as well as taking ones gathered by The Sun for lab verification. Full results from the testing are expected back in a couple weeks, but Kirby said the samples match the "fingerprint" of the Deepwater Horizon spill and that the team is tallying "concentration levels.
BP's black monster costs Louisiana fishing up to $172 million and 3975 jobs. The study only looked at short-term impacts. - peraspera
The report projected a $115 million to $172 million loss in gross revenue from 2011 to 2013 for commercial fisheries due to the spill based on the impact to those species. The projected loss does not include any possible long-term ecological effects or changes in demand for Gulf seafood, according to the study. The report also does not include impact to related industries such as seafood processing and recreation fishing.
The revenue losses translate into a job loss of 2,650 to 3,975 "full time equivalents" and an earnings loss of $68 million to $103 million.
Judge indicates first BP spill trials to start next summer. It would be refreshing if Judge Barbier is able to move the BP trials along at a brisk pace rather than have them drag on for years like happened with the Exxon Valdez. Judge Barbier has scheduled the trial for determining the percentage of blame for the catastrophe in February 20012 - peraspera
The first federal ‘test’ trial for damage claims by businesses and individuals related to the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster and subsequent oil spill could be as early as June 2011, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Mariners Match is offering Mississippi fishermen food vouchers for local food markets. The fisherman are grateful for the help for fresh, healthy food and the markets are hoping some might become long-term customers. - peraspera
Frank Parker is a commercial fisherman with a wife, two kids and one on the way. He says when shopping for food, he looks for ways to stretch his dollars.
"Fishermen, we've been having a tough time with the oil spill," said Parker. "Some of us got to work. Some of us didn't. The shrimp season has been mediocre."
Fishermen and their families say they appreciate the help.
"I think it's a good idea and we appreciate them for thinking about the fishermen, the shrimpers," Thanh Nguyen, the wife of a fisherman.
Parker said, "What else is better for you than fresh vegetables, fruit and stuff like that and they're kind of expensive in the stores so if we can come with these vouchers, I think it's great."
DOJ hasn't started the BOP investigation and Judge Barbier is displeased. It's a little tough to believe that no testing at all can be done before something is built to house the failed BOP. - peraspera
Department of Justice attorney Mike Underhill admitted that testing on the failed blowout preventer (BOP) that caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform and later let out millions of gallons of oil into the gulf is running behind schedule. But, he said he's confident testing will begin in the next few days.
Speaking to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier at the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, Underhill said that at the moment, the BOP is sitting on a pier while forensic investigators begin their work. He said that there is also the lengthy and costly process of building a warehouse around the BOP, so that it can be preserved.
On a lighter note, Gulf Shores,Alabama enjoyed a boost to its tourism this past weekend thanks to some big names giving concerts there.
GULF SHORES, Alabama - Its just what the doctor ordered for the Alabama Gulf Coast.
The prescription: a blockbuster weekend to help the economy hurt this summer by the oil spill.
Normally, October isn't a big tourist month along the Alabama coast.
But, this year, things are a lot different.
It all started off with a Bon Jovi bang, and ends with a Brad Paisley concert Sunday night.
Tens of thousands of people went to the Bon Jovi concert on the beach in Gulf Shores Friday night.
Afterwards, many went to nearby restaurants and clubs, like the Pink Pony Pub.
One group from Covington, Louisiana, was back at the pub Saturday afternoon.
Maray Fitzmorris from Convington said, "Bon Jovi did the most awesome thing for this coast. Its what we needed. We needed support, and he gave it to us."
==== ROV Feeds =====
==Multiple stream feeds (hard on browser/bandwidth)==
BP videos All the available directly feeds from BP.
Bobo's lightweight ROV Multi-feed: is the only additional up to date multiple feed site.
See this thread for more info on using video feeds and on linking to video feeds.
Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #409 - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #405 - bleeding heart
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #404 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #403 - Darryl House
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #401 - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #400 - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #399 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera/story/
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #398 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera/story/
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #397 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #396 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #395 - Condition: transition - BP's Gulf Castastrophe - David PA
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #394 - Transitions - BP's Gulf Castastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #393 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #392 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - When Can we Share a Soda? - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #391 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Talking about Change - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #390 - Drips Redux - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #389 - Night of the Living Drips - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #388 - Sittin' Up With the Dead - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #387 - Time for a Wake? - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #386 - The Coroner Won't Pronounce - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #385 - Is it Dead? - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
The last Mothership has links to reference material.
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
Again, to keep bandwidth down, please do not post images or videos.