Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coast Guard Puts Transocean On Notice

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Notice of Federal Intent to Transocean,owner of the abandoned Deepwater Horizon oil rig,which now sits on the ocean floor near BP's capped Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.The notice informs a party it may be liable for cleanup costs and damages under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.The Coast Guard recently spotted a number of sheens on the ocean's surface near the site of the crippled rig and well,which caused a catastrophic oil spill in April 2010.
Captain Johnathan Burton,commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Morgan City,said the notice is part of the Coast Guard's process whenever there is an oil sighting that cannot be immediately attributed to a specific source.The Coast Guard said the oil sheens may be leaking from a severed pipe that once connected the rig to the well.This riser pipe now lies twisted on the ocean floor.
Both Transocean and BP said they will cooperate with the Coast Guard's investigation of the sheens,but pointed fingers at each other as the potentially liable party.In late August,a BP submarine survey of the area showed no leakage from the Macondo well itself.The well was capped on 15 July,2010 and permanently sealed on 19 September of that year.
Enforcing environmental laws and responding to oil spills are some of the Coast Guard's core missions.It played a key role in assessing,investigating and mitigating the Macondo well spill.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bridges To Somewhere:Thespian Family Receive Navy Memorial Honor

The Bridges family,who have lent their talents to American dramatic arts for over 60 years,are receiving the U.S. Navy Memorial's Lone Sailor Award on September 22 in Washington,D.C.The late Lloyd Bridges and his two sons,Beau and Jeff,will be saluted for their decades of service to country and community.All three are U.S. Coast Guard veterans.
Lloyd Bridges,who died in 1998,served in the Coast Guard from 1941-45;Beau Bridges served in the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserves from1959-1967;Jeff Bridges followed with his service in the Coast Guard and USCGR from 1967-75.It's a fact that may surprise many of their fans.One doesn't necessarily associate Hollywood with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The family has several hundred television,record and film credits to their name,from Lloyd's hit TV series Sea Hunt(1958-61)to Beau's Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Award for "An Inconvenient Truth"(1989) and Jeff's Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Crazy Heart"(2009).
Beau and Jeff also have a sister,Lucinda Bridges.
Lloyd Bridges received an Honorary Commodore Award from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary,11th Coast Guard District Los Angeles.Son Beau served aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dexter(WHEC-385).
Also receiving the Lone Sailor honor for 2011 are baseball legends Jerry Coleman and Bob Feller,who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy,respectively;as well as Brian Lamb,C-Span founder and U.S. Navy veteran.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nature Note:Moth Resembles Tree Bark

I noted a triangular moth resting on the sliding screen door of my home.Taking a closer look,I observed it was beautifully camouflaged as gray tree bark.It was an epione underwing,a forest moth that ranges from Quebec west to Minnesota and south to Florida,Texas and Oklahoma.When startled,the epione underwing drops to the ground.
The adults are abroad from August to September,having emerged from pupae in leaf litter.The eggs are laid on tree trunks in the early autumn and then hatch in the spring.The epione underwing caterpillars favor the leaves of shagbark hickory trees.
There is probably one generation of this moth a year.It was first described by the British entomologist Dru Drury in 1773.Drury lived from 1725-1803 in London.His collection had at least 11,000 species.The son of a prosperous goldsmith,three species were named in his honor by fellow entomologists.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frigate Visits Mauritius On Goodwill Trip

The USS Samuel B. Roberts(FFG 58) arrived in Port Louis,Mauritius on 5 September for an eight day goodwill port visit.The ship's crew will be strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and exercises in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa,which is part of the mission of U.S. Africa Command.
Besides on board training in damage control;fire fighting;search and rescue;and electrical maintenance,the crew will undertake a community service project at a children's school and play a soccer match with the Mauritius coast guard.It is FFG 58's fifth East Africa port visit in the past seven weeks.Prior to that,the frigate was engaged in maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Homeported in Mayport,Florida,FFG 58 is an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate.These frigates have a complement of 17 officers and 198 enlisted personnel.
Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean.Its closest neighbors are Reunion and Madagascar.