[Coral-List] EcoRigs Platform Removal Brief No. 2

Steve Kolian stevekolian at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 23 21:57:12 EDT 2011

The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) will lose a third of its 3,600 offshore oil and gas platforms in the next 5 years which will destroy an estimated 1,875 acres of coral reef habitat and 7 billion invertebrates, many of which are Federally protected organisms such as scleractinian corals, octocorals, hydrozoans and gorgonians.  It is estimated that 49 species of Federally managed fish and 25 species of protected invertebrates utilize, to varying degrees, the platform substrate for feeding, spawning, mating, and growing to maturity.  The Federal government is bound by law (Magnuson Act) to protect coral reef organisms and reef communities.  If the Federal government acknowledges the ecological significance of oil and gas platform habitat, the cost to produce a barrel of oil in the GOM would increase due to the accrual of environmental compliance expenses. Federal agencies are required to evaluate reasonable alternative actions to blasting oil and gas platforms out of the water and consider avoidance and mitigation of adverse environmental effects.  EcoRigs suggested that BOEMRE should consider alternate uses for retired platform such as sustainable fisheries, production of renewable ocean energy derived from wind, current, wave, geo-thermal, salinity gradients, bio-fuels, hydrogen production, (i.e., extraction of hydrogen from seawater via electrolysis), recreational fishing and scuba diving parks, fish sanctuaries, culture of pharmaceutically valuable organisms and sequestration of greenhouse gases. Evaluating these alternate uses could lead to platform preservation, avoid the destruction of the ecosystem and inhabitants, and meet objectives of Federal environmental regulations. 

To view full report go to: http://www.ecorigs.org/EcoRigs%20Platform%20Removal%20Brief.pdf

Best Regards, Steve Kolian 225-910-0304 cell


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