Hexbyte Glen Cove Gulf coast eyes strong but disorganized tropical weather thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Gulf coast eyes strong but disorganized tropical weather

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Residents in low-lying areas of Hancock County move their vehicles, lawn mowers, ATVs and boats to higher ground in Waveland, Miss., as a tropical system approaches Friday, June 18, 2021. Forecasters predict a tropical system will bring heavy rain, storm surge and coastal flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The poorly organized disturbance was located Friday morning about 255 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana. Credit: Justin Mitchell/The Sun Herald via AP

A disorganized storm system carrying tropical storm-force winds churned through the Gulf of Mexico toward the Southern U.S. on Friday, lashing coastal communities with bands of rain, threatening Father’s Day tourism business and forcing the postponement of Juneteenth celebrations in Mississippi and Alabama.

Forecasters said the broad system was moving north over the Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph), which is above the tropical storm threshold of 39 mph (63 kph). It hadn’t been designated a tropical storm as of Friday afternoon, however, because it lacked a single, well defined center, said Benjamin Schott, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Slidell, Louisiana.

The looming weather imperiled Father’s Day weekend commerce in tourism areas already suffering economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A swamp tour company in Crown Point, Louisiana, canceled afternoon tours Friday and was afraid it would have to do the same for Saturday.

Austin Sumrall, the owner and chef at the White Pillars Restaurant and Lounge in Biloxi, Mississippi, had 170 reservations on his books for Sunday, but was concerned that some patrons would cancel. “We saw, especially last year, the rug can get jerked out from under you pretty quickly,” he said.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida—extending from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in the Florida Panhandle. Coastal surge flooding was possible and flash flood watches extended along the coast from southeast Louisiana into the Florida panhandle and well inland into Mississippi, Alabama and western Georgia.

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Friday, June 18, 2021, at 11 a.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA, shows a tropical weather system in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials ordered a floodgate and locks system closed in southeast Louisiana and readied sandbags in Mississippi and Alabama as a broad, disorganized tropical weather system began spinning bands of rain and brisk wind across the northern Gulf of Mexico coast Friday. Credit: NOAA via AP

“I hope it just gets in and gets out,” said Greg Paddie, manager of Tacky Jack’s, a restaurant at Alabama’s Orange Beach.

Mayor Jeff Collier of Dauphin Island, off Alabama’s coast, said officials there had already contacted debris removal contractors and made sandbags available to residents. “We’re pretty well prepared to the extent that we can be,” Collier said. “This is not our first rodeo.”

In nearby Mobile, Ryan Schumann, president of the Alabama Deep Fishing Rodeo on nearby Dauphin Island, could at least take solace in the fact that the event is scheduled for next month, not this weekend.

But disappointment was evident in the voice of Seneca Hampton, an organizer of the Juneteenth Freedom Festival in Gautier, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He spent weeks arranging food trucks, vendors, a bounce house, face painting and free hamburgers and hotdogs for the event, which was highly anticipated because last year’s was canceled due to the pandemic and because of Juneteenth’s new designation as a federal holiday.

A man takes a photo of waves crashing into what once was a dock for a ferry that transported people from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian, Miss., as a tropical system moves toward the Mississippi Coast on Friday, June 18, 2021. Forecasters predict a tropical system will bring heavy rain, storm surge and coastal flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The poorly organized disturbance was located Friday morning about 255 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana. Credit: Justin Mitchell/The Sun Herald via AP

“It’s something that means a lot to people, and there were people that were bummed out, like ‘I already had in my mind I was coming out there to celebrate,'” said Hampton.

The Gautier event was postponed until next month. A Juneteenth event in Selma, Alabama, was postponed until August.

By midday Friday, brisk winds and bands of rain were hitting the coast from south of New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida. An afternoon advisory from the National Hurricane Center said the system was about 165 miles (266 kilometers) south of Morgan City, Louisiana and was moving north at 14 mph (22 kph).

In Louisiana’s vulnerable Plaquemines Parish, the local government warned mariners that locks and a floodgate in the Empire community, near where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf, would close at noon. Health officials ordered oyster harvesting areas closed along much of Louisiana’s coast due to possible storm-driven pollution.

  • A worker moves water tricycles off the beach in Biloxi, Miss., as a tropical system approaches on Friday, June 18, 2021. Forecasters predict a tropical system will bring heavy rain, storm surge and coastal flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The poorly organized disturbance was located Friday morning about 255 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana. Credit: Margaret Baker/The Sun Herald via AP
  • Clouds from Tropical Storm Claudette form on Highway 90 Beaches in Pass Christian, Miss., Friday, June 18, 2021. City of Pass Christian has declared state of emergency for potential severe weather. Credit: Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP
  • National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham, left, speaks during a news conference along with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.,Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the center in Miami. Tuesday marks the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season which runs to Nov. 30. Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
  • Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., right, speaks during a news conference after having toured the National Hurricane Center with director Ken Graham, left, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the center in Miami. Tuesday marks the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season which runs to Nov. 30. Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
  • Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference after having toured the National Hurricane Center, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Miami. Tuesday marks the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season which runs to Nov. 30. Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency late Thursday. The move is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts.

Forecasters said the system could produced up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) through the weekend along the central U.S. Gulf Coast.

In Orange Beach, Paddie said Tacky Jack’s still has sandbags left over from its preparations for last year’s Hurricane Sally. That September storm, blamed for two deaths, threw ships onto dry land, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people in Alabama and in the Florida panhandle.

There have already been two named storms during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Meteorologists expect the season to be busy, but not as crazy as the record-breaking 2020 season.

Mexico, while getting rain from the storm in the Gulf, was also threatened by a storm in the Pacific. Tropical Storm Dolores formed Friday morning and was expected to make landfall on Mexico’s west-central coast Saturday evening, possibly near hurricane strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.



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Tropical weather buffets Gulf coast with brisk winds, rain (2021, June 18)
retrieved 18 June 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Ivory Coast creates first marine protected area thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Ivory Coast creates first marine protected area

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Fishing boats in the early morning off the coast of Grand-Béréby. Credit: CEM

Ivory Coast has announced the creation of its first Marine Protected Area (MPA).

The MPA will cover 2,600 km2 (1,000 square miles) of pristine ocean off the coast of Grand-Béréby, protecting marine biodiversity including threatened shark and .

The announcement is the culmination of years of work by the Ivorian government, the Abidjan Convention, Swedish Government and local non-governmental organisation Conservation des Espèces Marines (CEM), supported by the University of Exeter and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This work was done alongside communities in Grand-Béréby to strengthen protection of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources, and to enhance local livelihoods.

The Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Professor Joseph Seka Seka said: “Today I announce our decision to create Cote d’Ivoire’s first Marine Protected Area in Grand-Béréby, a ‘partially protected’ area that will include an integrally protected zone closed to all activities, and an eco-development zone that will support sustainable fishing practices and ecotourism activities.”

In September, the Ivorian government stated its intention to create five MPAs—and today’s announcement confirms the first of these.

A rich variety of species live in the waters of the new MPA. Credit: CEM

A will now take place before the MPA rules come into effect.

The MPA location includes important sea-bed habitats and reef ecosystems, as well as globally significant nesting and foraging grounds for the leatherback, green and olive ridley turtles.

It will also protect more than 20 species of sharks and rays, including hammerheads, and guitarfish—a group of rays now considered the world’s most threatened .

Abou Bamba, Executive Secretary of the UNEP Abidjan Convention, said: “The government of Cote d’Ivoire should be widely applauded for this truly momentous decision, which shows tremendous leadership that we hope will resonate and be replicated across the Atlantic facade of Africa to unlock the economic potential of the continent coastal zones.”

Alexandre Dah, President of CEM, said: “The government of Cote d’Ivoire should be congratulated for translating our science into policy, with this new MPA both safeguarding globally important populations of threatened marine species, as well as supporting the livelihoods of local communities who depend on fisheries resources.”

The creation of the MPA relied on detailed scientific data collected by a team including the University of Exeter, who were supported by funding from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative and the Rainforest Trust.

Underwater image from the new MPA area. Credit: CEM

The research included participatory work with local communities to collect data on the biodiversity and health of the waters, including underwater surveys of marine habitats and previously undocumented reefs, and satellite tagging of sea turtles.

“This MPA is in a really unique area of marine biodiversity, whose reefs provide a natural refuge that will now be complemented by legal protection,” said Dr. Kristian Metcalfe, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“The political will for protecting and supporting sustainable resource use has been exemplary, and so we are delighted that our collaborative efforts have been able to underpin such a massive step in marine conservation.

“Levels of marine protection in West Africa are generally low, so the Ivorian government’s creation of a Marine Protected Area is a big statement that will hopefully act as a regional exemplar.”

The Exeter team were invited to Ivory Coast after working on marine conservation projects, first in Gabon and then in the Republic of the Congo.



Citation:
Ivory Coast creates first marine protected area (2020, December 21)
retrieved 21 December 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-ivory-coast-marine-area.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.