Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 9, 2010.
Past 24 HOURS
Unified Command Transitions Sea Turtle Response Efforts to New Phase
Wildlife scientists from the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill Unified Command are finding fewer sea turtles offshore that require rehabilitation, and are now turning their focus to releasing rehabilitated turtles, continuing near shore stranding and salvage network efforts and to learning how these populations of endangered and threatened species have been affected by the oil spill.
Since the explosion of the BP/Deepwater Horizon in April 2010, the effort to assess, rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles has been a multifaceted mission—involving NOAA, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and non-profit partners from Riverhead Foundation and In-Water Research Group. As of August 30, 2010, a total of 1,086 sea turtles have been collected and scientists have released more than 14,000 hatchling turtles from nests translocated from the northern Gulf of Mexico to the east coast of Florida.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 160 personnel and 54 vessels have been deployed for reconnaissance and recovery operations, responding to 78 calls on the Wildlife Hot Line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 21 two-person teams and 12 vessels participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 43 calls. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast
As part of continued efforts to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats from the impacts of the BP oil spill, FWS and National Parks Service cleanup crews continued shoreline cleanup operations at Gulf Islands National Seashore and at FWS refuges—removing oil debris from Cat Island (8,860 lbs), Fort Pickens (2,134 lbs), Horn Island (5,950 lbs), Ivan’s Cut (1,320 lbs), Perdido Beach (2,263 lbs), Perdue Beach (900 lbs), Petit Bois Island (2,250 lbs), Santa Rosa (5,692 lbs) and West Ship Island (1,150 lbs).
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $25.8 Million
SBA has approved 300 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $25.8 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 921 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $5.1 million per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email [email protected].
Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility Disbursements Surpass $79.9 Million
Since the BP oil spill response began, the administration has worked to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who have suffered a financial loss—first by directing BP to improve its claims process and then by establishing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the independent agency administered by Kenneth Feinberg which was formed in June as part of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP.
To date, 51,255 claims have been opened through the GCCF, from which more than $79.9 million have been disbursed—in addition to the more than 150,000 claims filed and $395 million disbursed through the BP claims process. For information on how to file a claim, visit the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Web site. Additional information about the claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov.
By the Numbers to Date:
- The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; currently, 1,035 are active.
- More than 26,900 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- Approximately 3,700 vessels are currently responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
- Approximately 1.06 million feet of containment boom* and 9.47 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 3.07 million feet of containment boom and 2.22 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- More than 34.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 577,000 gallons are available.
- 411 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11.14 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. Because calculations on the volume of oil burned can take more than 48 hours, the reported total volume may not reflect the most recent controlled burns.
- 15 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
- Approximately 115 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 104 miles in Louisiana, 9 miles in Mississippi and 2 miles in Florida. Approximately 512 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 246 miles in Louisiana, 89 miles in Mississippi, 62 miles in Alabama, and 115 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot so that planning and field operations can more quickly respond to new impacts; they do not include cumulative impacts to date, or shoreline that has already been cleared.
- Approximately 39,885 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 83 percent is now open. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
- To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency.
*The decrease in boom numbers is due to the continued recovery of displaced boom. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed. New boom is being deployed in some areas.