The Gulf of Mexico is the eleventh largest surface water body on Earth. A western arm of the Atlantic Ocean, it is an ocean basin mostly surrounded by the land, including the USA, Mexico and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the USA, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. Water enters the Gulf through the Yucatan Strait, circulates as the Loop Current, and exits through the Florida Strait eventually forming the Gulf Stream. Gulf fisheries are some of the most productive in the world, and the Gulf overlays some of the world's most abundant oil and gas resources.
This Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) is characterized by its tropical climate. The Gulf of Mexico is partially isolated from the Atlantic Ocean. Important hypotheses concerned with...
WetlandLast Updated on 2014-09-30 10:32:28A wetland is an ecological community that is inundated either year around or seasonally. There are very different properties of freshwater versus saline wetlands. Numerous national, state and provincial agencies have regulatory interests wetlands A chief intent of this article is to provide the reader with special interest in wetland delineation, wetland mitigation and wetland biology with insight to additional sources that will be useful.
Suisun Marsh wetlands. (Source: California Interagency Ecological Program, Suisun Marsh Program)
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the originally published 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual jointly defined wetlands as: “Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to... More »
Western Gulf coastal grasslandsLast Updated on 2013-10-07 22:41:07The geophysical province of this the Western Gulf coastal grasslands ecoregion is a distinct ecosystem in the southern USA, due to its more temperate climate, proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and associated natural processes (e.g., tropical storms), and geological origin with subsequent succession since the Pleistocene era inundation.
This ecoregion is critical to many species of vertebrates, especially grassland birds, both resident and migrant, that are declining on a continental scale. Several endemic species of this ecoregion have become extinct in the wild, including the red wolf, or are critically imperiled such as the Attwater’s Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri), and Whooping Crane (Grus americana). Intertidal, estuarine marsh habitats are less threatened elements of the ecoregion; however, emergent palustrine wetlands within this ecoregion are the... More »
NCSE's Oil Day: Ken Salazar Keynote - Part 2Last Updated on 2011-06-16 00:00:00Keynote: A Vision for the Future - Interior Secretary Salazar
1,200 participants gathered in Washington, DC on January 19th, 2011 for NCSE's 11th National Conference, "Our Changing Oceans". The first day of this three-day event was soley dedicated to discussing the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster; what lessons have been learned and the paths dictating future ocean policies.
This video is a segment of the proceedings from that day. More »
Cornell Lab of Ornithology videos on the Gulf CoastLast Updated on 2011-04-20 00:00:00The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. They have prepared a series of in-depth videos that help you understand the vital ecosystems of the Mississippi River Delta and some impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Deepwater Horizon: One Year Later
It's still too early to measure the full extent of the oil's impacts on Gulf Coast waters, beaches, and saltmarshes, to the region's economy, or to its millions of birds. In this video, Cornell Lab director John Fitzpatrick summarizes what we do know, and reflects on our obligation to restore this national treasure's health.
Restoring America's Delta
The BP disaster caused upheaval and damage to the people and... More »
NASA - gulf oil spill: one year later (3:25)Last Updated on 2011-04-20 00:00:00This short video reveals a space-based view of the burning oil rig, the spill, and the location through April 1, 2011. The MODIS instrument, on board NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, captured images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill began on April 20, 2010 with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The oil slick appears grayish-beige in the images and changes due to changing weather, ocean currents, and the use of oil dispersing chemicals.
You can learn more about NASA's satellite observations of the oil spill by visiting go.nasa.gov/Oil_Spill_Images. More »
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