Lagniappe (a little something
Around the Gulf . . .
In September, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission banned
operators of shark diving excursions from using bloody bait to attract
sharks. The commissioners noted that, in light of this summers regular
reminders of the potential tragedy when sharks and swimmers collide, to
allow shark baiting is simply inviting danger.
The Minerals Management Service and Texas A& M University have entered
into a cooperative agreement to conduct an archaeological investigation
of a 200-year-old shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico. First discovered last
February, the wreck is nearly one half mile beneath the surface of the
water, 30 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River. This will be the
first time that a wreck this deep has ever been scientifically excavated
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Seven universities, including the University of Florida and Rice University
in Texas, will share more than $3.5 million in research grants awarded
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study invasive species.
The EPA research grants will help to minimize environmental and economic
losses associated with invasive species.
Around the Nation . . .
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced the establishment of a task
force in charge of helping agencies protect drinking water supplies from
terrorist attacks. Among the tools used to help agencies is a notification
system, which alerts authorities of possible contamination of drinking
In August, the Bush Administration promised quick action to protect 29
vanishing plant and animal species by listing them as endangered species.
In exchange a coalition of environmental groups agreed not to continue
lawsuits involving a few other species. This agreement allows the Fish
and Wildlife Service to focus attention and resources back on many plants
and animals that are on the verge of extinction.
The Marine Conservation Biology Institute announced the winners of the
Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants in Marine Environmental History.
The grants are among the first ever awarded to help document the composition
and abundance of ocean life before humans altered the marine environment.
The results of the studies are crucial to help lawmakers, regulators and
managers establish efficient conservation efforts.
The government of the Cook Islands, in the South Pacific, announced that
it has established a whale sanctuary throughout its Exclusive Economic
Zone. Covering two million kilometers, the sanctuary is believed to be
the largest whale sanctuary declared by an individual government.