Captain Ron of Public Eyes Media sent me a message for Captain Gary and our readers.
Please tell the Sea Captain I attended an environmental fundraiser for EcoWeek 2010 in Islamorada, Florida yesterday, Wednesday May 19th. Speaking at the event was Mr. Billy Causey – Southeast Regional Director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. During his informative update on the Gulf oil spill Mr. Causey made the following observations and remarks at approximately 6:45 pm:
"As of 5:30 pm today NOAA has issued an announcement that the an oil sheen from the Deepwater Horizen spill has reached the loop current."
"30-40 % of the mass of the oil being discharged from the blowout is being dissipated."
"Over 590,000 gallons of dispersant have been used so far." (many concerns were raised by attendees about the toxicity of the dispersants.)
Question by me to Mr. Causey: "MSNBC (Brian Williams) reported early on after the blowout that aerial dispersants were being discharged from aircraft at the spill site. They showed a graphic of a C-130-like aircraft spraying aerosol oil emulsifier/dispersants. Are they still using this procedure?"
Answer (paraphrased): They were spraying early on. They had to stop at one point because of sea conditions. I believe they have continued to spray the aerial dispersants but am not sure if it is being done currently.
Other comments from Capt. Ron:
"While visiting the St. Bernard Parish, LA. a week ago – I observed a tremendous amount of higher altitude aerosol dispersals down wind (towards the shoreline) of the DeepWater Horizen spill site. These multiple layers of visible (from the ground) "aerosols?" were very obvious and appeared to be well below normal contrail altitudes. Are we to assume that these higher level aerosol dispersants are related to the 30-40% oil mass loss (released methane and other gasses?) from the spill mentioned by Mr. Causey. It was not clear to me if these high level dispersion operations were included in Mr. Causey’s estimates.
As a retired commercial airline Captain and formal Viet Nam era U.S. Naval Aviator, I am concerned about the makeup of these higher level dispersions as I have observed them many other places I have recently traveled. In the last year I have observed them in the Florida Keys, Denver, CO, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Amarillo, TX, Charlottesville, VA. , Amsterdam, Holland and most recently along the Louisiana coast.
I hope these comments will lead to clarity in what appears to be a very confusing and tragic situation in the Gulf. We here in the Conch Republic (Florida Keys) are anxiously awaiting a successful conclusion to this impending disaster. I urge everyone to stay centered, look for and participate in solutions and not let this devolve into an "us" against "them" scenario. We are all invested (to some degree) in the status quo activities of a petroleum based economy. We must all find a way to forgive ourselves – and others – for our roles in this disaster and find a way to work together to co-create positive solutions for a sustainable future.
More background on Mr. Causey:
PublicEyesMedia – associate producer
Dotty Oliver Publisher of Little Rock Free Press on facebook.
Mistress of the Misunderstood Book Salon.