Gulf of Mexico

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Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone Is Now Bigger Than Ever

Heavy rains in Midwest increased agricultural runoff this year

(Newser) - In 2014, the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico was found to have shrunk to the size of Connecticut. To the ire of environmentalists, it has since ballooned to its largest size since mapping began in 1985, says NOAA . Covering 8,776 square miles—that's the size... More »

Fisherman's $500K Catch Could Get Him Life in Prison

Thomas Breeding chose to sell cocaine bale

(Newser) - When commercial fisherman Thomas Breeding found 45 pounds of cocaine floating in the Gulf of Mexico last January, he says he knew the right thing was to turn it over to police. The Florida man instead opted to sell it, a decision that could land him in prison for life.... More »

Going Swimming This Summer? Beware Seabather's Eruption

Experts say tiny sea lice are headed straight for your swimsuit area

(Newser) - The bathing suit areas of Florida swimmers are under attack by an invisible enemy: sea lice. ABC News reports experts expect to see widespread outbreaks of sea lice this summer, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. Sea lice are incredibly tiny jellyfish larvae that are invisible in the water. They... More »

Mom Who Fell Off Cruise Ship Was Sitting on Railing

Coast Guard ends search for Samantha Broberg

(Newser) - After days of searching a 4,300-square-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard halted its search early Monday for a Texas woman who fell off a cruise ship . The search was unable to find any trace of Samantha Broberg, who was a stay-at-home mother of four children,... More »

Explorers to Canoe for 9 Months— Upstream

Gulf-to-Arctic canoe journey has never been undertaken before

(Newser) - Paddling a canoe for up to 12 hours a day, sometimes while covered in ice, may not be every person's idea of a good time, but for six outdoor adventurers, that's exactly what they'll be doing until September. Iowans Luke Kimmes and Jarrad Moore, along with four... More »

BP May Have to Pony Up $14B for Oil Spill

New Orleans judge assessing fine for Deepwater Horizon disaster

(Newser) - The $4.5 billion criminal penalty that BP had to pay for the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill was pretty hefty, but a New Orleans judge may be about to triple that fine. Nearly five years after the disaster that dumped hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the... More »

18K Tons of Concrete Head for Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

To create largest artificial reef in Western Hemisphere

(Newser) - Workers are planning to dump 18,000 tons of concrete into the Gulf of Mexico—for a good reason. Hurricanes and changing currents have destroyed the reef system in Gulf waters around Florida's Collier County, according to the Community Foundation of Collier County , so the county, along with the... More »

Louisiana Falling Into Gulf of Mexico Quickly

New Orleans could be stranded on sliver of land if coastline fixes aren't made

(Newser) - Over the past 80 years, at least 2,000 square miles of southeastern Louisiana's coastline have dropped off into the Gulf of Mexico—the equivalent of a football field-sized plot of land being swept away each hour, Scientific American reports. Unless the state takes action, 1,750 more square... More »

BP Spill Left Huge, Oily 'Bathtub Ring'

Millions of gallons ended up on seafloor

(Newser) - The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill left oily residue on the seafloor that scientists liken to a "bathtub ring"—if the tub were big enough to fit Rhode Island. Researchers who tested thousands of sediment samples from more than 500 locations in the Gulf of Mexico believe around 84... More »

This Could Be World's Most Endangered Animal

Newly identified Gulf whale species lives in single canyon

(Newser) - A new species of whale has been identified in an underwater canyon in the Gulf of Mexico, but scientists fear they won't have long to get to know it: There are only about 50 of the unique species of Bryde's whale left in waters off the Florida Panhandle,... More »

Gulf's Dead Zone Is the Size of Connecticut

Activists sue EPA to get stricter regulations

(Newser) - A Connecticut-sized swath of oxygen-deprived waters off the Gulf Coast is a "poster child for how we are using and abusing our natural resources," says one researcher in Louisiana. In its 30th annual survey, the Louisiana Marine Consortium shows the dead zone has shrunk to about 5,000... More »

Sunken Nazi Sub Slumbers Off Louisiana Coast

And a camera captures incredible images of the German U-boat

(Newser) - Many never knew how close German U-boats came to US soil during World War II, but new high-def footage reveals several wrecks on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Ballard, known for discovering the Titanic, is now mapping some of these wrecks, including the SS Robert E. Lee... More »

Photos of Freakish Shark Reveal Another Big Find

Isopods signal 'whalefall' at bottom of Gulf

(Newser) - Researchers studying photos of a rare goblin shark hauled up in the Gulf of Mexico last month say they've spotted something just as exciting—and just as weird-looking—in the shrimpers' catch. Mixed in with the shrimp are unusually large numbers of giant isopods, a deep-sea creature that resembles... More »

Rare, Freakish Shark Caught in Gulf

Fishermen accidentally haul in a goblin shark

(Newser) - Shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico found a decidedly unshrimp-like creature in their haul last month: a rare and strange-looking goblin shark, reports the Houston Chronicle . While a bit more common in deep waters off Japan, this is only the second one ever spotted in the Gulf, notes the National... More »

'Shipwreck' Turns Out to Be Rare Tar Volcanoes

Underwater find is first in northern Gulf of Mexico

(Newser) - Scientists searching for shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico found something a lot stranger last week: a pair of rare "tar volcanoes" spouting asphalt. The formations, the first of their kind to be found in the northern Gulf, left behind solidified eruptions that scientists nicknamed tar lilies because the... More »

BP Allowed Back in Gulf Waters

British Petroleum and the EPA reach agreement

(Newser) - BP is taking a big step in its recovery following 2010's massive oil spill . The US has agreed to lift the 2012 ban that kept the oil company from doing business with the US government—including seeking contracts in the Gulf of Mexico. That means the company can begin... More »

Halliburton Admits It Destroyed BP Spill Evidence

It trashed test results related to the construction of Macondo well

(Newser) - Halliburton admits it destroyed evidence related to the construction of the notorious Macondo well that ruptured in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and caused the biggest oil spill in US history, reports Reuters . Eleven rig workers were killed. The company will plead guilty to the charge and pay the... More »

Gas Well Ablaze in Gulf After Blowout

Fire still burning; 44 evacuated but no one injured

(Newser) - A natural gas well is burning uncontrollably off the coast of Louisiana today, after a gas blowout caught fire yesterday, the AP reports. All 44 workers aboard evacuated when the gas leak started earlier in the day, and no one was aboard the well when it ignited at around 10:... More »

Oil Spill Off Louisiana After Boat Hits Old Wellhead

Coast Guard responding

(Newser) - A 42-foot boat last night hit a wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, causing it to leak a blend of oil and water off of the Louisiana coast, the Coast Guard reports. The wellhead is owned by Swift Energy, which says it has been inactive since December 2007. The Coast... More »

New Gulf Leases Could Yield 1B Barrels of Oil

38M acres set for auction

(Newser) - The US is nearly ready to auction off oil and gas drilling leases for up to 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico—an area which could yield some 1 billion barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Wall Street Journal reports. The March... More »

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