The Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Services Viewer shows, in an interactive format, the values people place on salt marshes, mangroves and oyster reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on research results, this tool fills an informational gap in the Gulf.
Join us for an upcoming oil spill science seminar, Understanding the toxicity of oil and dispersant mixtures, and the development of alternative dispersants on May 20th in Lafayette, LA. This event is free and open to the public, and will feature speakers from LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant. Additionally, there will be a question and answer period, followed up by an audience input session. To learn more about this seminar, click here.
On March 18, 2015, the Oil Spill Science Outreach Team will be holding a fisheries seminar, “Oil Spill Science Seminar: Five years later, what have we learned?” This seminar is free and open to the public. Scientists will present the latest fisheries-related research about the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dispersant application on Gulf of Mexico habitats, communities, and individual species. For more information, please click here or email Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.
When oysters hatch, the microscopic larvae are totally at the mercy of the environment. Controlled by time and tide, they move where and when the water takes them, sometimes landing far from where they were spawned. When they finally come to rest, the place where they settle may or may not be a suitable place for them to grow.
Two researchers, marine ecologist Ruth H. Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and coastal physical oceanographer Keyong Park of Texas A&M University in Galveston, have combined their expertise to discover more about how these processes affect the larvae of oysters and other commercially important seafood populations as they make their first journeys. Read more
The National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf of Mexico Program has appointed Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Director LaDon Swann to an advisory group that will create a strategic vision and guide the program’s development and implementation. Serving for one year, Swann, who is also the director of marine programs with Auburn University, and the other 23 members of the advisory group will articulate the program’s mission, goals and objectives — including preliminary thinking about metrics to measure its impacts — and outline how the program will operate in the first three to five years.
The advisory group draws on the science, engineering and health expertise of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Institute of Medicine (IOM), and National Research Council (NRC). Chaired by outgoing NAS Vice President Barbara A. Schaal, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, the group includes people with experiences in academia and industry, as well as people with deep connections to the Gulf region.
“The advisory group brings distinction, expertise from diverse disciplines, and a wide range of experience to the task of defining the program,” said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone. “With Dr. Schaal’s leadership and her familiarity with the National Academy of Sciences and its values, we’re confident that the program’s design will be based on scientific merit and integrity.”
The $500 million, 30-year program was established as part of the settlements of federal criminal complaints against British Petroleum and Transocean Ltd. following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which resulted in 11 deaths, 17 injuries and the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The program will focus on human health, environmental protection and oil system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf. It also will fund and carry out studies, projects and activities in research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.
To identify broad opportunities in these areas that best meet the program’s charge, the advisory group will work to understand what other organizations and agencies are doing in the Gulf region. As part of its information gathering activities, the group will conduct a series of in-person and virtual meetings in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Washington, D.C., to identify how the NAS program can make useful and lasting contributions.
The program will be run under the auspices of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the NAS and NAE. Together with the IOM, these private, nonprofit institutions provide science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter granted to NAS in 1863.
With hurricane season only a few weeks away, now is the time homeowners should start making necessary preparations to protect their homes and loved ones. Through the new Louisiana Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards, residents of Louisiana have a useful resource at their fingertips as they begin readying their families for natural disasters.
The handbook is available in PDF format at www.lsu.edu/sglegal/pubs/handbook.htm as a free download. Free hard copies will be available at various locations throughout coastal parishes, or the book can be ordered for $5 – to cover postage and handling – by emailing Jessica Schexnayder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program director Jim Wilkins discusses the program’s involvement in getting state legislation adopted to allow off-bottom oyster culture. To view the video, click here.