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Entries in Ocean (2)

Tuesday
Aug302011

Has Irene Polluted Shoreline Beaches?

ABC News(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ordered people back to the beach now that Hurricane Irene has blown through the state, although his own environmental agency is still testing waters for sewage, bacteria and debris churned up by the storm.

"Get the hell back on the beach," the notoriously blustery governor tweeted Monday as Irene faded away.

The state's Department of Environmental Protection issued a warning on its website Monday that raw sewage was spilling from a lake into the ocean near Asbury Park, just three blocks south of where Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno held a press conference encouraging visitors to make one last trip to the state's beaches for Labor Day weekend.

"We're open for business," Guadgno said.

Larry Ragonese, spokesperson for the DEP, said the agency had begun testing all of the beaches up and down the coast for water quality and expected to have the results posted by the end of the week on njbeaches.org.

"Obviously you have tremendous runoff of stormwater," Ragonese said. "And everything that is on land and sea kind of meet. So we're looking for any kind of bacteria, anything unusual. We're also looking for debris, from docks or boats. You don't want a life vest popping through the water."

Ragonese said it was likely that stormwater from Irene could have overwhelmed sewer systems and caused overflows, and that the department would be monitoring the water closely.

State environmental officials are testing beaches all along the Irene's path from North Carolina to New York as Labor Day weekend approaches.

Until the test results come in, beaches and the ocean will remain open, Ragonese said.

"It's up to each town along the coast. They're the ones as far as safety that would determine that," Ragonese said.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec032010

Submarine Dive Finds Oil, Dead Sea Life at Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- A mile below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, there is little sign of life.

"It looks like everything's dead," University of Georgia professor Samantha Joye said.

In an exclusive trip aboard the U.S. Navy's deep-ocean research submersible Alvin, ABC News was given the chance to observe the impact of this summer's massive oil spill that most will never see. The ocean floor appears to be littered with twigs, but Joye points out that they are actually dead worms and that Alvin is sitting on top of what is considered an 80-square mile kill zone.

Aboard the Alvin Thursday, Joey said she saw "about three to four inches of material." That as BP, the company responsible for the spill, is challenging government estimates that 200 million gallons of crude spill from its runaway well. London-based BP now insists it's half that. But 5,000 feet down, the oil appears to be everywhere. The government estimates that less than 25 percent of the oil remains, but these scientists say it's not gone, just settled at the bottom of the ocean.

The water in most places appears to be clear, a stark contrast to the oil that covered miles of ocean after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 workers. But Joye said what was once on the surface has now sunk.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio