Archive for September, 2010

Oysters Found Contaminated

Posted: September 7, 2010 in News Bulletins

 

Sampling by environmental groups has found oysters contaminated with oil along the Louisiana coast befouled by the BP PLC oil spill, a finding that casts doubt on statements by state and federal officials that all seafood tested here is safe to eat.

Batches of oysters were sampled on Aug. 2 and 3 near the mouths of the Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers and laboratory tests revealed the animals were tainted by oil. That’s according to Wilma Subra, a well-known Louisiana chemist working for environmental groups.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says that since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion the agency has found no oyster samples with high levels of oil contamination.

Louisiana has opened some waters to oyster harvesting, but much of the state’s coast remains closed to oystermen because of concerns over oil.

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80% of Oil NOT Recovered

Posted: September 7, 2010 in News Bulletins

…but earlier this week researchers at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Sea Grant challenged that interpretation. Almost 80 per cent of the oil has not been recovered, they say. They took particular issue with the NIC’s dismissal of dispersed oil hidden below the surface. “One major misconception is that oil that has dissolved into water is gone and, therefore, harmless,” says Charles Hopkinson at the University of Georgia in Athens, director of Georgia Sea Grant.

At stake here is the toxicity of dissolved oil in water. According to Hallberg, the Environmental Protection Agency claims that a billion droplets of water contaminated with a droplet of oil is safe to drink. So if, as the NIC suggests, the oil is reaching that point of dilution in the Gulf, we’re in the clear. Not so fast, others retort. Even if we can handle some oil in our water, deep-sea animals may not be able to. Unfortunately, it’s too early to know how these organisms are faring.

The Old Oyster Bar

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Book Excerpts

Book Excerpt from chapter heading Weaned on Oysters (Fall 1968)

Scott – Journal entry: June 18, 2010 – Day 60

 Today I paused in front of the old building where once stood the oyster bar I’d spent much time as a young boy. A string of tiny storefronts, though dilapidated, unpainted, and generally abandoned, their appearance couldn’t alter my memory. The past was crystal for a moment. I remember the screen door welcoming an October breeze off the bayou, and the sea-blue tiled customer counter I could barely get my shoulders past. The hanging metal sign of a high-breasted pin-up girl in a red one-piece holding an ice-cold Coke, reassuring me I’d made the proper beverage choice. I felt like one of the men back then, elbow deep in cold, salty oysters plopped plump on saltines. There wasn’t a thing in the world to be afraid of. But, today I have fear. Today, I’m afraid of change. Maybe it’s time to sit for a while in the middle of a dandelion patch.