Friday, June 4, 2010

At Aquarium press conference, Rep. Markey talks about BP spill

US Representative Edward J. Markey speaks at the New England Aquarium as Aquarium President and CEO Bud Ris (right) looks on.

"BP has committed a crime against nature," US Representative Edward J. Markey said during a press conference at the Aquarium today.

Markey, who is the chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, was flanked by five scientists, including Aquarium President and CEO Bud Ris, as he announced that he will introduce a bill into Congress to create an oil company-funded research and development program to find 21st-century oil safety and spill response technologies.

Aquarium President and CEO Bud Ris speaks as Representative Ed Markey looks on.

Ris and the other scientists joined Markey to talk about the ramifications of the oil spill for New England. The Aquarium president focused on the impact the oil in the Gulf will have on sea turtles, especially the critically endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle. These small sea turtles breed in the Gulf, then follow the Gulf Stream up the Eastern Seaboard to feed in the waters off Cape Cod during the summer. The Aquarium is at the forefront of a yearly effort to rescue and rehabilitate Kemp's ridleys that strand on Cape Cod as they try to head south for the winter.

Molly Lutcavage director of the Large Pelagics Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, spoke about the potential effects of the Gulf oil on bluefin and yellowfin tuna, which spawn in the Gulf.

George Hampson, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist and a researcher on the 1969 Buzzard's Bay oil spill, spoke about the long-lasting effects of that spill on the bay's ecosystem and the lessons that were learned from the spill.

Markey emphasized that he intends to make sure that BP stands for "Bills Paid,'' and Ris closed the conference by saying that the oil spill is a real wake-up call for the world to cut down on our carbon footprint, seek lasting energy solutions, take real steps to conserve our oceans and "as we say at the Aquarium, live blue."

Read updates on oiled sea turtle rescue efforts in the Gulf on the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Team blog.

Claim a plot of ocean and pledge to live blue.

See news reports from the press conference: Boston Herald, WHDH Channel 7, New England Cable News and WBZ.

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