Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 86

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM

  • In May, Gambit talked to scientists about their worst fears in the wake of the oil disaster, and they're now being realized: The oil from the Gulf is infiltrating the food web, targeting the tiniest organisms — a "grim reshuffling of sealife that could over time cascade through the ecosystem and imperil the region's multibillion-dollar fishing industry," and worse.

  • Drilling has stopped for a relief well and won't resume for up to 48 hours. Meanwhile, delays, delays, delays. If there are leaks along the pipe running 13,000 feet into the earth, riser pipes and containment ships will have to do the job. If no pipe leaks, the cap could seal the gusher ASAP. But there's this:

    The threat of a crater forming on the sea bed around the well — with oil flowing from multiple points — would be a potentially catastrophic scenario that would make containing the oil extremely difficult.

    But according to Darryl Bourgoyne, director of the petroleum research lab at Louisiana State University, leaks deep in the well may not be much of a problem — so long as it was so deep that "the fluid would stay in the subsurface, and cratering wouldn't be a risk."

  • Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is in Bayou La Batre, Ala. today to discuss mental health and public health issues and needs with community residents, cleanup workers and local officials.

  • From Louisiana Bistro's "BP menu": BPQ Shrimp, Boudin Booms, Dirty Bird, Pork Barrel with leeks, Top Hat Surf and Turf, and Junk Shot jambalaya, an "ever-chaning mix of Louisiana fish and shellfish with Andouille sausage in a Cajun-style tomato rice pilaf."

  • Texas bartenders whip up some oil-inspired cocktails, like the Tar Ball, the Slick of This and The Slick. Anyone in New Orleans been tinkering in their craft cocktail labs on this one?

  • Check out photographer Jane Fulton Alt's stunning Crude Awakening photo series.

  • When I've talked to chefs, restaurateurs and fishermen, they often are more concerned over the future of their oysters due to freshwater flooding the beds than the oil lingering just outside of harvest areas. Oysters thrive in a delicate balance of salt- and freshwaters, which give them their salinity, taste, life — everything good and necessary about oysters. Several parishes opened their floodgates in May. Now oil and freshwater are turning oysters into this:

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