Sea Briefs is a report on the results of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.
Editor: Melissa Schneider
is available in PDF format from:
MASGC supports applied, interdisciplinary marine science research, education and outreach efforts to foster the sustainable development and management of the Mississippi and Alabama coasts and nearshore ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, with the help of its partners, coordinated three oil spill community forums on June 2-3. About 500 people attended the forums, which took place in Biloxi, Miss., and Mobile, Ala.
People attended a 45-minute briefing by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, they were able to attend question-and-answer sessions on several topics: fisheries and wildlife, monitoring and data, business and personal finance, technological disasters and mental health and legal perspectives.
Mike Kensler of Auburn, Ala., attended a forum in Mobile.
“It’s a very healthy thing; I think it’s a good idea to do it,” he said. “People got a sense that there’s more agency coordination and action going on than is readily apparent.”Each forum lasted about three hours. More than 20 agencies and groups served as panelists and answered questions.
“It was real informative,” said Mobile resident Perry Berens. “I think the people who had things to say were good. I think the questions people asked were good. And, I think the people answered them as well as they could, given the stage we’re at.”
Attendees voiced frustration that the oil was still flowing, and some wanted to know how to get their ideas on how to clean up the oil and stop the leak into the hands of BP decision-makers who would use them.
The sessions were recorded, and transcripts are available at http://gulfseagrant.tamu.edu/oilspill/transcripts.htm. Look for the oil spill information.