Gulf of Mexico

Karen Is A Tropical Storm Again; Jerry, Lorenzo And A New Disturbance Near Mexico

Sep 24, 2019
National hurricane center

Karen strengthened into a tropical storm — again — on Tuesday and is forecast to bring wind and rain to eastern Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today.

Also, shortly before midnight Monday, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck about 50 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. And although a series of aftershocks were felt, officials reported that there were no reports of significant damage.

HANDOUT / Reuters Photo

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he is confident that President Donald Trump will protect Florida from offshore oil drilling — despite a White House threat to veto legislation that would ban drilling off the state’s Gulf Coast.

“He’s told me he’s with us,” DeSantis said in Dania Beach after he and business leaders announced additional private sector relief efforts for people in the Bahamas suffering from the impact of Hurricane Dorian.

DeSantis is a strong supporter of the president — and Trump is a strong supporter of the governor.

Every summer, fish and other marine life are forced out of their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico due to an insidious “dead zone.”

The area, also known as a hypoxic zone, is a section of water that lacks enough oxygen for marine life to survive.

In Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers is working to combat a growing environmental menace: blue-green algae. Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms and subdivisions combines with warm summer weather to create massive blooms of algae in rivers and lakes that can be toxic.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and it could become a hurricane by late Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters say the storm could bring a storm surge and heavy rains to Louisiana.

Barry is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane shortly before making landfall Saturday morning. Its maximum winds are expected to reach only around 75 mph — but officials are warning of perilous flash floods and other hazards.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Red Tide Research Bill

Jun 21, 2019
KATIE LEPRI / WLRN

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday an initiative between the state and Sarasota-based Mote Marine Laboratory that includes $3 million a year for the next five years to research the causes and impacts of red tide.

The bill (SB 1552) creates the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory.

Marine Oil Snow Is Falling In The Gulf Of Mexico

Jun 20, 2019

Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill continues  sinking to the Gulf of Mexico’s sea floor. Now a researcher from the University of Delaware is shedding light on a phenomenon he’s calling Marine Oil Snow.

Ten miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, off the tip of Louisiana, the fumes become overwhelming. "See how it's all rainbow sheen there? So that's oil," says Ian MacDonald, who's guiding us in a tiny fishing boat that's being tossed around by 6-foot waves.

MacDonald is a scientist at Florida State University where he studies oil spills. This one is not a black, sticky slick, but it stretches on for miles. And here, where the murky Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf, it's been leaking for more than 14 years.

The National Audubon Society has released its restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico. It would draw on the $20 billion settlement from the 2010 BP oil spill.

As Hurricane Michael Bears Down, Many Along Gulf Coast Remain In Harm's Way

Oct 10, 2018
Emily Mahoney Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

PANACEA -- The muggy air hung heavy over the small Gulf Coast town of Panacea on Tuesday as Hurricane Michael churned toward the Florida Panhandle. Grey clouds glided quickly across the sky over the main street’s shuddered seafood shacks.

Storm surges, combined with the new moon tide, were expected to rise in this area anywhere from nine to 13 feet. By Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies had already knocked on doors twice. The first time, it was to urge people to leave. The second: taking down the information and next-of-kin of those who remained — of which there are many.

A study seven years in the making by University of South Florida researchers has created a map of how many species live in the Gulf of Mexico. This will give experts an idea of how much damage would take place from a future oil spill.

It has become a rite of summer. Every year, a "dead zone" appears in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an area where water doesn't have enough oxygen for fish to survive. And every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissions scientists to venture out into the Gulf to measure it.

Gulf Shrimpers Lose Money Due to Imports

Oct 8, 2015

The price shrimpers are getting per pound for Gulf shrimp significantly dropped this summer, despite more shrimp being harvested in the Gulf of Mexico since 2006. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports about 20 million pounds of shrimp was harvested from the Gulf in August, roughly 10 percent above the previous 13-year historical-average for the month.

Mike Echevarria / Florida Aquarium

Submerged 250 to 300 feet in the Gulf of Mexico lies a coral reef that could hold the key to crucial information and resources for the Florida Keys reef. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research cruise is currently operating at Pulley Ridge, 100 miles west of Key West, where scientists are using a remotely operated vehicle to collect videos and samples from the sea floor.

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

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