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Aug 4, 2010

OCEANA to assess the damage of the BP oil spill

audrey matura shephard

Oceana is one of the organizations in the forefront of the public debate against offshore oil drilling and it is taking a proactive approach in the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Oceana is taking a team on a tour of the spill while conducting research on the damage it has caused on the fishing industry as well as ecosystems. Oceana’s Vice President for Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd will also join the expedition.

Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP, OCEANA BELIZE

“The expedition is a two month expedition. And what is happening, The OCEANA Latitude, which is the vessels that OCEANA has chartered, will be leaving Fort Lauderdale. It will go all the way up to Louisiana where the Gulf of Mexico and from there it will turn back. But going it will be in shallow waters, returning it will go in deep waters and throughout it will be taking samples and data of all flora and fauna there and any samples of oil that we find throughout. The whole idea is to see what is the after effect, the aftermath of the spill in the gulf. Where I will be going, there are several legs to the expedition and at every given time there will be twelve persons on the vessel. Ten of them will always be crew, including the scientists and the divers and two will be guests. I’ll be guest on the first leg so the first leg I get to go on the vessel for just over a week and we leave port on Sunday from Fort Lauderdale up to Louisiana. At Louisiana I get off and some other two get on. But when I reach Louisiana I get to do a land tour in which I get to go and meet people who have actually been affected by the disaster in the gulf and then I actually go and inspect the areas where the oil has actually landed like amongst the mangroves and marshes. Their climate is just like ours. They have some of the same ecosystem like ours. Ours if of course better and far more sensitive but they also have coral reefs, they have turtles, they have sharks. On our expedition, we’ll be tagging turtles and sharks so that we see how they move between Belize and that region and we also want to see how they are  affected, what will be their lifespan and when they die to be able to determine if they die as a result of the oil ingestion and things like that. So learning all of that out in the Gulf of Mexico will definitely help us in Belize because we will come up with a better plan on how to deal with issues in Belize. one of the long term plan of OCEANA in Belize is for next year to bring a similar vessel to Belize to charter from north to south what is our marine ecosystem like so that we can show to our government what is it that we have in terms of marine resources and what is it we’ll be losing or what we will be risking.”

Matura Shepherd will join the team this Saturday.

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4 Responses for “OCEANA to assess the damage of the BP oil spill”

  1. Bold says:

    Keep up the good work Ms. Audrey Matura and OCEANA.

  2. tim says:

    shut up.. she just want to be on camera.. lol

  3. Earl Grey says:

    No OFF-SHORE drilling for OIL in Belize!!!!!!!!!!!……..PERIOD.

  4. belizean girl says:

    Good work HA! plz. I said it once and i will say again oeana and other NGO’s are against the drilling because of the world heritage status. that only benifits them because thats how they get money. But anyways ejoy the cruise cause thats what it is…….Mrs. matura former criminal lawyer and new environmentalist, did you know that the boat you will be cruising on your month long vacation from miami to louisiana burns fuel that is obtained from the gulf. hahahaha you how much fuel that??? you are like those activist that rent hug boats and burn thousands of fuel to go protest at the rigs to stop petroluem production hahaa isnt that ironic.

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