Friday, April 30, 2010

Americas Greatest Ecological Disaster - Oil Spill

What happened in Alaska in 1989 was once termed "Americas Greatest Ecological Disaster."

For Exxon the remote locale of Prince William Sound and low population base made this oil spill a "parachute journalism" affair.

For BP, 30-6000 barrels a day gushing into the Gulf, one of the most highly populated regions in the USA, media coverage will be nothing short of 24/7.

Add to the fact we are going into the summer season of re-run programming and what you have is the perfect media storm.

The Gulf is essentially a bowl, to get the best understanding of what is about to happen to the region over the summer pour 10 quarts of oil into your average Olympic swimming pool. At best it will be three months to drill a relief well in the region and even then there's no assurances that the oil will stop.

That's 2-6 million barrels of oil in the Gulf by the time the oil stops gushing in three months.

We covered a similar spill last fall by the numbers. The final number of spilled barrels will never be known in the East Timor Sea but one thing is for certain, media coverage in the Gulf will be intense and unflinching.

America's finest conservation moment and ongoing challenge is about to happen.

Let's consider putting aside other conservation efforts and instead turn our focus on the Gulf.

Once in a great lifetime conservation is called upon to act as one, to respond as one, and to rise to great challenges that transcend local and regional efforts.

This is that moment, and this is that challenge. Where will you be?

Back from Pyramid Lake - Insanity?

When you're gone for a few days into the wilds of Nevada you can get into places where Internet service is spotty at best and local weather temps hover at 29 degrees...oh and fly fishing from a ladder in the middle of Pyramid Lake will net you 10lb Cutthroat Trout.

This is where I have been, and yes I was chest deep in freezing waters, in a snowstorm, with about 15 other braves souls pitching weighted sink tips into the deep - searching for fly fishing's top trout this time of year.

The squadrons of white pelicans flying through the snow storms we encountered did not seem to mind one bit.

Of course I was not alone.

This annual fly fishing hajj to Pyramid Lake always begins with a call from Steve Blair. The phone call begins with, "dude the fish report is amazing and the weather is clearing up." You have a choice to believe one of two things about this particular statement, as for me I tend to believe in "the fish report" as some of the wildest weather I have ever fished in has been on Pyramid Lake.

It did not disappoint, and neither did the fish. I landed three quite respectable fish over the past few days, drank copious amounts of Pyramid Ale and basically took a few days off from work, phones, media, to cast, reflect, and enjoy the wilder side of life.

You sometimes have to disconnect to appreciate and gain perspective on things. That's what I came away with this week. Now, it's on to a flight to Nag's Head North you know.

Patric Douglas CEO

Westslope Cutthroat Trout illustration copyright Joseph R. Tomelleri

Rep Jon Riki Karamatsu - Chief Waffler

What a difference a few days can make.

As it turns out Hawaii's historic vote on a complete ban on shark fins was unanimous and the critical vote of Rep.Jon Riki Karamatsu went for the bill instead of against it...

...and then in a stunning display of "flip-flopping wafflery" Riki Karamatsu turned against the bill he just voted for and tried to kill it.

For one brief moment we had thought that Riki Karamatsu had
demonstrated real conservation leadership in Hawaii.

We of the conservation world dared dream that Riki might be the kind of leader who would listen to all sides of an issue but when it comes to issues about the environment, animal cruelty, and unsustainable practices Mr.Karamatsu would understand and act.

Sadly he's just a hack politico who will waver and waffle when important bills are in play pandering to whoever and wherever he can to get a vote or two.

DO NOT VOTE for this man in is race for the Lieutenant Governors seat in Hawaii.When the chips are down, Karamatsu is a poor choice for the oceans, the environment and Hawaii.

Complete story here.