Another clueless, airhead model

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Deployment

The turtle is a diamondback terrapin; a threatened species of coastal marshes.  This hatchling was found on a island.  It'll probably lose its damaged right eye and those purtuberances on the shell are either a genetic defect or disease while still in the egg.  It was sent it to the animal rehab center.  

Finishing up my deployment in Louisiana. The days are routine with standard protocols for boating on the water to rescue and/or recover birds. Anything goes in this respect. We recover dead birds from the freshly dead to bones and feathers. The dead are bagged and tagged then sent to laboratories where they have the tools to determine if the birds' death was oil related. Oil from the Deep Water Horizon has a signature that can be differentiated from any other oil in the world. This is key as the federal government can fine BP and extract monetary restitution. There are fines for what is considered a "take".

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

This Act, originally passed in 1918, provides protection for migratory birds. Under the Act, it is unlawful to take, import, export, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird. Feathers or other parts, nests, eggs, and products made from migratory birds are also covered by the Act. Take is defined as pursuing, hunting, shooting, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, or collecting.

Migratory bird hunting regulations, established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, allow the taking, during designated seasons, of ducks, geese, doves, rail, woodcock, and some other species. In addition, permits may be granted for various non-commercial activities involving migratory birds and some commercial activities involving captive-bred migratory birds.

Individuals or organizations may be fined up to $5,000 and $10,000 respectively, and may face up to six months imprisonment for misdemeanor violations of the Act. Felony violations may result in fines of up to $250,000 for individuals, $500,000 for organizations, and up to two years imprisonment.

With thousands of birds brought in you can see how much BP has to cough up for damaging birds. Kill or damage a sea turtle:

The Endangered Species Act

Passed in 1973 and reauthorized in 1988, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulates a wide range of activities affecting plants and animals designated as endangered or threatened. By definition, "endangered species" is an animal or plant listed by regulation as being in danger of extinction. A "threatened species" is any animal or plant that is likely to become endangered within the forseeable future.

The Act prohibits the following activities involving endangered species:

Prohibitions apply to endangered species, their parts, and products. Most of these restrictions also apply to species listed as threatened unless the species qualifies for an exception. The Act also requires that wildlife be imported or exported through designated ports and that special declarations be filed. If the value of wildlife imported and/or exported is $25,000 per year or more, importers and exporters must be licensed.

Violators of the Endangered Species Act are subject to fines of up to $100,000 and one year imprisonment. Organizations found in violation may be fined up to $200,000. Fish, wildlife, plants, and vehicles and equipment used in violations may be subject to forfeiture.

It adds up. Meanwhile we boat on the open water for 8 hours/day. On occasion getting out to recon an island. Despite the apocalyptic news reports the coastal area is already recovering however, it'll take a few years to get to pre-oil conditions. That's still not an optimistic outcome. Louisiana's marshes have be disappearing for decades. The Oil corporations own the legislators. Carving up the marshes for oil extraction has destroyed thousands of square miles of coastline. Channelizing the Mississippi has prevented sedimentation from flowing into and replenishing the marshes. I have no doubt that the Republican dominated Louisiana congress will blame their irresponsible politics on the BP spill. The marshes are dying and the Gulf of Mexico is expanding into Louisiana and nothing can be done to stop it. 

These hermit crabs are battling it out for a new home.  The entrance is blocked by a smaller crab house.