Deepwater Horizon Disaster Payout Announced by US Justice Department

Transocean will help fund Gulf of Mexico science and restoration as part of its settlement of civil and criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Credit: Wikimedia

A new cash settlement will be given to the Gulf of Mexico science and restoration project, due to the federal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The company that operated the drilling rig for BP, Transocean Deepwater, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in civil and criminal fines and penalties for the spill.

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“Coughing” Scallops Are Early Warning System for Worsening Water Quality

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Scallops cough to expel feces and water from their central cavities. The friction between the mollusk’s two valves makes a sharp crack, followed by a drawn-out puffing sound as the valves close. Biologists think that these coughs could serve as an early warning system for worsening water quality.

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Washington State Launches New Plan to Combat Ocean Acidification

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The state of Washington, the leading US producer of farmed shellfish, announced that it is launching a 42-step plan to reduce ocean acidification. The initiative made by a governor-appointed panel of scientists, policy-makers and shellfish industry representatives. It’s the first US-state-funded effort to tackle ocean acidification.

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Deepest Scientific Marine Samples Ever Collected Show Hints of Life

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A recent expedition resulted in a new world record for deepest scientific marine drilling, 2,440 meters beneath the seafloor. The Research Vessel Chikyu off the coast of Japan’s Shimokita Peninsula housed the members of the microbiology team that took part in groundbreaking leg of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

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Leaks and Contaminated Sediments Keep Radiation Near Fukushima High

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Researchers presented their findings at the Fukushima Symposium conference on the 12th and 13th of November at the University of Tokyo on the radioactivity that is persisting in the ocean waters close to Japan’s failed nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi.

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Carnivorous Deep Sea Sponge Discovered Off Coast of California

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has unveiled footage of a new species of carnivorous sea sponge. Chondrocladia lyra was discovered using deep-diving vessels by a team of researchers off the coast of California, at depths of 3,316 to 3,399 m.

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New Chinese Survey Reveals Extensive Coastal Pollution

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A national marine survey of China’s marine resources paints a disturbing portrait of its current coastal environment. The survey was launched in 2004 by the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and was finally completed last month.

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