Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

National Wildlife Federation Holds Symposium on Gulf Oil Disaster

National Wildlife Federation Holds Symposium on Gulf Oil Disaster

National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation is sponsoring the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Symposium with the National Aquarium Conservation Center, Mote Marine Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University Nov. 2-4 at the National Aquarium.

NRDA for the Gulf: Improving Our Ability to Quantify Chronic Damages will allow symposium participants to discuss long-term effects and solutions resulting from the Gulf oil disaster. Since the disaster, scientists/researchers have been studying the impacts on natural resources in the Gulf and working together to find immediate and long-term solutions.

National Wildlife Federation will host a panel discussion on how local communities can participate in the NRDA process to ensure fair outcomes. The panel will examine ongoing relationships with the Gulf Coast community to set criteria about the most effective ways to use restoration funds and how to engage the community in restoration work.

“The Gulf of Mexico’s natural resource-based economy is in serious trouble due to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and now, with federal and state governments poised to recover billions of dollars from the responsible companies, we have a real opportunity to help jumpstart recovery. To get this right, it will be crucial that citizens and independent scientists have significant input into how restoration dollars are spent,” said John Kostyack, vice president of Wildlife Conservation for National Wildlife Federation.

“This symposium gives us the opportunity to work with Gulf communities to develop strategies that will ensure restoration investments are put to work to benefit people and wildlife,” said John Hammond, Southeast regional executive director for National Wildlife Federation.

“Gulf coast communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill should have access to the most recent scientific evidence regarding damages associated with this spill. Further, a mechanism needs to be put in place that will ensure access of community representatives to the formal NRDA process,” said Erik Rifkin, interim executive director for the National Aquarium Conservation Center.

Scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory have been at the forefront of research to understand the effects of the Gulf oil disaster since 2010. Mote has partnered with NWF to bring experts from around the world and local Gulf of Mexico stakeholders together to identify a strategy forward.

“Past ecological disasters have damaged marine ecosystems through a domino effect, but it is difficult to forecast the impacts from the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Dr. Michael Crosby, senior vice president for Research at Mote Marine Laboratory. “Science priorities must include immediate comprehensive risk assessment for trophic cascades and response management scenarios. We must act now to establish a permanent BP-funded endowment with independent oversight to support—in perpetuity—the needed long-term research, monitoring and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Trophic cascades are chain reactions that can occur when a single key species or multiple species in an ecosystem experience stress or declines in population size, which in turn lead to dramatic shifts in the overall balance of entire ecosystems on regional scales. Identifying a strategy to move forward will be key in understanding changes in the Gulf of Mexico. An important mechanism could be the establishment of a new research center designed to coordinate and focus efforts related to understanding trophic cascades caused by the Gulf oil disaster.

Take Action

Send a message to Congress, urging them to commit Clean Water Act penalties to restoring the Gulf.

For more information, click here.

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch