Gulf Coast marshes may be irreversibly damaged from Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Volunteers help plant and restore a salt marsh in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Volunteers help plant and restore a salt marsh in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Much has been written about what’s called the worst oil spill in U.S. history – Deepwater Horizon. Now there’s even a major motion picture about it.

What has only received limited national press has been the devastating effect and impact on Louisiana’s marshes, home to over 5 million migratory waterfowl each year as well a large population of brown pelicans, terns, and other tropical birds and a variety of other endangered species. A 2014 pictorial view of the Louisiana coastline was one of the few and sobering accounts of the devastation long after the fact.

Now a study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, finds the oil spill caused widespread erosion in the salt marshes along the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. And researchers say there’s a chance these marshes might never completely grow back.

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Endangered sea turtles get their day in Costa Rica

An endangered green sea turtle

An endangered green sea turtle

According to the World Wildlife Fund, nearly all species of sea turtles are Endangered. The reasons are many – poaching for their meat or eggs, habitat destruction, boat strikes, ingesting plastic debris and “accidental” trapping in vast gill nets causing their deaths are a few of them. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is making huge strides to save these magnificent creatures.

The oldest sea turtle organization in the world, the Conservancy’s mission is to protect / recover sea turtle populations around the world, especially in Central America. Its long-term monitoring protection program, established in 1995. is in Tortuguero, on the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Continue reading