Demand NOAA Build an Ark to Rescue the Sick and Dying Dolphins from the Gulf of Mexico

We the people of the United States of America and All citizens of the world, call for the IMMEDIATE relocation of the Bottlenose Dolphin from the contaminated and toxic waters in the Gulf of Mexico due to BP's Oil spill from 2010 and their continued use of the Carcinogenic and Neurotoxic dispersant Corexit. To support this demand we cite the following scientific studies: NOAA - “December 18, 2013 Bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay have lung damage and adrenal hormone abnormalities not previously seen in other dolphin populations, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Dec. 18, 2013 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The Deepwater Horizon spill heavily oiled Barataria Bay. The study was conducted in August 2011 as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) by a team of government, academic and non-governmental researchers. In the NRDA process, federal and state trustee agencies working cooperatively with BP identify potential injuries to natural resources and lost public uses resulting from the spill, along with restoration projects to ensure that the public is fully compensated for its loss. The publication details the first evidence that dolphins in heavily oiled areas are exhibiting injuries consistent with toxic effects observed in laboratory studies of mammals exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons. The dolphin health study concludes that the health effects seen in the Barataria Bay dolphins are significant and likely will lead to reduced survival and ability to reproduce. Twenty-nine of the total 32 dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay received comprehensive physical examinations, including ultrasound examinations to assess lung condition. The researchers assigned almost half (48 percent) of the dolphins a guarded or worse prognosis. In fact, they classified 17 percent as being in poor or grave condition, meaning the dolphins were not expected to survive. These findings are in contrast to dolphins sampled in Sarasota Bay, Florida, an area not oiled by the Deepwater Horizon spill. For Dr. Lori Schwacke, the study’s lead author and veteran of a number of similar dolphin health studies across the southeast, the findings are troubling: “I’ve never seen such a high prevalence of very sick animals — and with unusual conditions such as the adrenal hormone abnormalities.” The NRDA researchers found that moderate to severe lung disease was five times more likely in the Barataria Bay dolphins, with symptoms including lung masses and consolidation. The researchers also found that 25 percent of the Barataria Bay dolphins were significantly underweight and the population overall had very low levels of adrenal hormones, which are critical for responding to stress. The researchers examined alternative hypotheses for the dolphins’ disease conditions, such as exposure to other man-made chemicals that have previously been measured in high concentrations in marine mammals and also associated with impacts on health. Blubber samples from the Barataria Bay dolphins, however, showed relatively low concentrations for the broad suite of chemicals measured, including PCBs and commonly detected persistent pesticides, as compared to other coastal dolphin populations. Based on the findings from the 2011 dolphin health study, researchers performed three additional health assessments in 2013 as part of the Deepwater Horizon NRDA. The studies were repeated in Barataria Bay and Sarasota Bay, and also expanded to Mississippi Sound, including both Mississippi and Alabama waters. Results from these more recent health assessments are still pending.” Source: NOAA And Michael Jansy, Director of NRDC believes it’s not “an exaggeration to say we may be witnessing an extinction of small dolphin populations along the coast.” Additional scientific studies to support this Demand include but are not limited to the following: 1. NOAA Fisheries. Scientists Report Some Gulf Dolphins Are Gravely Ill. 2. Dr. Lori Schwacke, NOAA Fisheries. 3. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2004. Chronic fuel oil toxicity in American mink (Mustela vison): systemic and hematological effects of ingestion of a low-concentration of bunker C fuel oil. 4. Environmental Science and Technology. 2014. Health of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. 5. NOAA Fisheries. 2010-2014 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico. 6. NOAA Fisheries. Y12 Aug 2011. 7. NOAA Fisheries. Y12 Jan 2012. 8. Brette et al. 2014. Science. Crude Oil Impairs Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Fish. 9. Weisberg et al. 2014. Science. Did Deepwater Horizon Hydrocarbons Transit to the West Florida Continental Shelf? 11. University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School. 2012. Oil Spill Toxicology. 10. Science. 2014. Crude Oil Impairs Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Fish. 11. PLOS One. 2013. Spatial, Temporal, and Habitat-Related Variation in Abundance of Pelagic Fishes in the Gulf of Mexico: Potential Implications of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. 12. PNAS Plus: From the Cover: Deepwater Horizon crude oil impacts the developing hearts of large predatory pelagic fish Given the huge quantity of oil that remains unaccounted for, the fact that even small amounts of oil can have significant biological effects, some of which may manifest themselves over time, and the unprecedented use of dispersants, the full scope of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf ecosystem will likely unfold for decades to come. Unfortunately our government and the NRDA want us to sit back and wait for the Dolphins to continue to die off as they have not allocated 1 single penny to their “restoration” according to the NRDA website. The current approved ‘Restoration Projects’ account for “approximately 63% of the Phase III program spending.” These projects include “measures to protect shorelines and enhance nearshore productivity in a variety of habitats. These projects include restoration of barrier islands and construction of living shorelines, as well as measures to restore oysters, SAVs, and dunes. The remaining 37 percent of the Phase III budget is devoted to restoration projects aimed at increasing and enhancing recreational activity in all five affected Gulf States.” Sitting back idle, waiting for our government to do something is no longer acceptable. There is now significant and conclusive evidence available directly linking the Dolphin Die-off to BP’s oil spill and use of Corexit. Both their environment and prey are contaminated and contain high levels of PAH’s. There is absolutely NO Scientific Evidence available indicating the situation is or will improve anytime soon or even within the next few decades. We must act now!
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