Gulf Coast

Galveston's Year-Round Oyster Harvest Halted After Ship Channel Chemical Spill

May 15, 2019
Spencer Selvidge/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On Sunday thousands of fish, crabs and other sea life washed up dead on beaches surrounding Galveston Bay. The Texas Department of State Health Services has warned people not to eat any seafood from the area, and it halted oyster harvesting in the bay indefinitely.

rhaaga/Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

From Texas Standard

Oil companies have long been blamed for playing a role in climate change. But now, those companies are asking the government to protect their interests from the harsher storms and higher tides connected with global warming.

Companies on the Texas Gulf Coast, which is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, are pushing for a 60-mile stretch of sea walls and levees that would help protect homes, beaches and, yes, oil infrastructure, from the next big storm.

cool.as.a.cucumber/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Every time a vessel comes to a port of call, a local sailor takes command of the ship to maneuver it through the shallow water to berth, or out to sea. Those sailors are called “marine pilots” or maritime pilots, and they must be experts on their specific ports and waters.

Vince Smith/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Dozens of ports of call dot the U.S. coastline; stopping at one is a highlight of any cruise. There's a romance about it: You dock at some far-flung locale, disembark and soak in the local flavor of a place like Honolulu, San Juan or  – maybe someday – South Padre Island. At least local leaders hope. A report issued by SPI Cruise Group finds that the island is well-positioned to be the first new U.S. port of call in a half-century.

Padre Island National Seashore

From Texas Standard.

Scientists, researchers, and volunteers along the Gulf Coast have been working at a fever pitch to save hundreds of sea turtles that have washed up on Texas coastal shores – alive but stunned by the cold. It’s not an unusual phenomenon, but researchers say this year has seen a record-breaking number of turtles.

Dr. Donna Shaver, the Chief of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Division at Padre Island National Seashore, says they’ve found 2,980 turtles so far.

Austin Price for KUT

Refugio head football Coach Jason Herring spent all summer planning for this week, the Texas Class 2A State Championship game. He would have no idea how far he would have to veer from that plan to get to this point.

Jennifer Pollack

From Texas Standard:

While many diners delight in slurping the slimy meat out of an oyster, less attention goes to the oyster shell. Typically, they’re thrown away and end up in landfills.

Karen/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Weather watchers are tracking ominous activity in the Gulf of Mexico. An Air Force Reserve helicopter is on standby, ready to fly to a spot off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula where a storm system is building steam.

CC0 Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Seventy years ago this week, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mike Cox is an author and award-winning journalist, he writes that Texas’ Padre Island was on the short list for testing the bomb.

On how close Padre Island was to becoming a test site:

“South Padre Island was one of eight sites that the U.S. Military considered as a place to explode the first atomic bomb. And it actually came down to about three sites that were pretty high on the list: one was in California, one was the Alamagordo site in New Mexico and the other one was South Padre Island — which, admittedly, at the time was pretty remote. But eventually they decided on blowing up that first device in New Mexico.”

AP archival photo

April 17 marks exactly a year since one of the biggest industrial disasters in American history: the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas that left 15 people dead, more than 150 injured, and large parts of the town flattened and destroyed.

Shocking as it was, the West explosion is not the worst industrial disaster in American history. That anniversary is today, April 16 – marking 67 years since the Gulf Coast town of Texas City was razed.