Aerial Photos Document Wetland Damage from Oil and Gas Activity

Source: https://healthygulf.org/201404072243/blog/storm-protection-/-coastal-issues/birds-eye-view-damning-photos-revealedTaken on a SouthWings flight over the Mississippi River Delta with Gulf Restoration Network, these photos by Jonathan Henderson link visible wetlands damage to specific permits that oil and gas companies obtained for drilling at these sites in coastal Louisiana.

Annotated aerial photo set available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/healthygulf/sets/72157643594038754/

The straight lines in this photo (right) are examples of the canals that oil and gas companies dredge through wetlands to access well sites. These artificial canals disrupt wetland hydrology and exacerbate or cause wetlands loss. A study conducted by the US Geological Survey found that oil and gas activities caused 36% of the coastal land loss that occurred in Louisiana from 1932 to 1990.

Read more about this from Jonathan Henderson here.

Gulf Restoration Network & Louisiana Bucket Brigade Join GMC

GMC.Feature.ImageThe Gulf Monitoring Consortium (GMC) welcomes the Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Bucket Brigade as the newest partners in a collaborative effort to detect and respond to oil and petrochemical pollution in and around the Gulf of Mexico. Both the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) and Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) have been working with the Consortium for some time and we are pleased to announce their official membership in our cooperative effort.

GRN and LABB bring substantial local knowledge, resources, and reputation to the Consortium, improving the GMC’s connection to local communities and strengthening our objective voice in the Gulf on pollution issues. The Gulf Restoration Network is committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the vital but imperiled natural resources of the Gulf Region. Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s mission is to support communities using grassroots action (such as air quality sampling with EPA-approved “buckets”) to create informed, sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution.

The GMC is an innovative partnership combining remote sensing technologies, aerial observation, and photography; and resources on-the-ground and in-the-water to detect, document, and respond to pollution. Each member contributes their expertise to this integrated approach – SkyTruth provides guidance on areas of concern based on image analysis and digital mapping, SouthWings coordinates volunteer pilots to get GMC members in the air to monitor for and document pollution incidents, and Gulf Restoration Network, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Waterkeeper Alliance members such as the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper provide both local knowledge of on-going issues and resources on the surface to “groundtruth” what we observe from the sky.

Read more about the leaks and spills GRN documented on a routine monitoring flight in March with Southwings, and explore LABB’s iWitness Pollution map powered by SkyTruth Alerts.