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Abstract Detail


Strategies for healing our coast lines: Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, erosion and urban degradation: progress for the North American future marine macro-plants

Thorhaug, Anitra [1], Coons, Janice [2].

Healing the Biodiversity of Dominant Plants of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Greater Caribbean Coastlines after Industrial pollutants and Development Degradation. .

During many centuries, man's activities have claimed large quantities of biodiversity of Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico estuaries: dredge and fill, salinity diversion, sewerage effluents, and industrial outflows. About 13% of the sea's surface area contains sites of the highest global biodiversity: :the estuaries and nearshore. This is one of the least understood botanically in the array of global ecosystem resources, and is full of complexity while difficult to access .The eco-physiology of marine macro-plants and their restoration principles are just beginning to be elucidated. A great deal of the intense oceanic productivity is immediately next to shore where the terrestrial nutrients from riverine systems plus shallow waters allows light penetration to relatively the shallow bottoms creating enormous productivity. At the intersection between these two massive ecosystems, the Mississippi Delta and the upper reaches of the Western Hemisphere's largest inland sea, the Gulf of Mexico . Here the estuary of one of the world's largest rivers, draining toxins from 38 states reaches the low energy end of the Gulf of Mexico. We will discuss: 1.) Examples of successful restoration of the dominant coastal plant species under difficult situations with contamination still present is occurring; 2.)Knowledge of physiological responses of coastal macro-plants to oil, and to dispersed oil and other ongoing pollutants must be gathered and analyzed; and 3.) Past examples of coastal vegetative ecosystems coming in contact with large-scale oil spills especially in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean (Ixtoc, Yum, Panama).

Broader Impacts:


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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, 359 Prospect St., New Haven , Ct. , 06901, USA
2 - Eastern Illinois Universtiy, Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, IL, 61920, USA

Keywords:
Gulf of MExico
Mangroves
seagrass
marshes
Atlantic coastline
Biodiversity
resource degradation
oil spill
dredge and fill
seagrass restoration
mangrove restoration
marsh restoration
Greater Caribbean Sea.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY13
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: SY13SUM
Abstract ID:415


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