Monday, September 19, 2011


The following is the BV's June 3rd post on the issue of red tide and what was being predicted as the largest dead zone to date.

I am reposting the story along with the original NYT's article because it is a good lesson in politics.

Our county officials had every warning Boca Chica and SPI would get hit with a red tide.  Their response - nothing.  You are delusional if you think Judge Cascos will say anything which brings this to the national attention at a time Perry is vying to win the Iowa caucus.  If Gilbert Hinojosa knew anything about Cameron County, which he does not, he would know red tide costs Cameron County money.

I have explained this issue before - no presidential candidate will ever tackle this question because it kills any hopes of them winning the Iowa caucus.

So where is Perry in denouncing the agricultural policies in Iowa which lead to red tide?  No where to be found.  But in some ways where is Gilbert Hinojosa denouncing Rick Perry for his silence?  No where to be  found.  Gilbert Hinojosa is as disconnected from the people as any politician can possibly be.  Here is an issue smack center in the middle of his face, and he cannot see it- why?  the people are not even a consideration when he forms his political positions.

Cameron county and SPI right now can be front and center in the national news media over this issue while impacting the Iowa caucus, and the Texas Democratic Party, which Hinojosa wants to lead do not even know we exist.

Here is an opportunity to do serious injury to Perry's presidential campaign and nothing from Gilbert Hinojosa and the Texas Democratic Party.  It is not a matter of incompetence - it is a matter of there is no Democratic Party in Texas.

The original post.

"This year — given record flooding — is expected to result in the largest dead zone ever in the Gulf of Mexico. "

"Dead zones have been occurring in the gulf since the 1970s, and studies show that the main culprits are nitrogen and phosphorus from crop fertilizers and animal manure in river runoff. They settle in at the mouth of the gulf and fertilize algae, which prospers and eventually starves other living things of oxygen.

Government studies have traced a majority of those chemicals in the runoff to nine farming states, and yet today, decades after the dead zones began forming, there is still little political common ground on how to abate this perennial problem. Scientists who study dead zones predict that the affected area will increase significantly this year, breaking records for size and damage."


For 11 years now, I have been pushing for the growing of hemp in South Texas. While it may not be as efficient as corn for biofuel, it is nonetheless a viable alternative. South Texas was made for hemp. Further it needs very little rain, fertilizer, or pest control.

The manufacturing options for hemp are endless. All of this means jobs for South Texas. The governor can put it on the agenda as part of the special session, but he will not. Governor Perry, such as Senator Lucio, and Representatives Oliveira and Lucio would rather the gulf die along with the the jobs it brings to South Texas than lead on the issue.

We know what is coming - a red tide which will shut down South Padre and cause thousands of people to cancel their trips. It blows my mind that we sit on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the number one and number two fish eaten are tilapia and pollock. There was a time gulf communities considered grouper a throw away fish which is why everyone had it as an all you can eat fish. Now it is almost unheard of as a menu option.

So - reality - our politicians will do nothing - just sit - the mayors of Brownsville and South Padre will remain silent out of fear of rocking the boat. Cameron County Judge Cascos will say nothing - we would not want him sounding like someone who cares about the environment - he is a Republican you know.

The inability of Texas to address the red tide problem and dead zones speaks to just how out of tune Texas is with its relationship to the Gulf of Mexico.


Anonymous said...

While I'm as willing to slame a local politician no one had a warning that red tide was possilbe at SPI or Boca Chica Beach. The occurance of red tide is not predictable. And, if it is predicted, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.
The dead zone in the gulf is unrelated to red tide. It is essentially an area on the ocean floor off the mouth of the Mississippi River that is without oxygen and thus sustains no life. If it is not entirely man made, man certainly is a major contributor to the dead zone.
Red tide appears to be a natural event that takes place every now and then without the aid of man.
Red tide is the bloom of an algae that is always present in the Gulf and has been present at least since Columbus hit the beach in the new world. From time to time the alga that causes red tide becomes concentrated and creates problems for animals and people. When the alga are disturbed and the cells break open, such as when they are aggitated in the surf, they release a toxin that can become an aerosol and cause problems with respiration for people and, probably, for other mammals, too. I don’t remember if it kills fish by interfering with their ability to take up oxygen through their gills of if they are killed directly by the toxin.
No one seems to really know what causes the concentrations of red tide to develop or how to get rid of them. They apparently do not do as well in cool water and outbreaks seem to dissipate as the water cools in the fall. Yet, there are records of it over-wintering in the lower bay, specifically in small boat harbors. There is speculation, unproved, that red tide blooms are caused by an overload of agricultural nutrients that are washed into waterways but this is looking more like it’s true for brown tide and not red tide.
Just trying to keep it fair.

BobbyWC said...

Well said, but I think the science on this one is going to be like global warming.

I did not say they could predict it - my issue has been no one will address it because it is a political hot potato - that is the primary point of the NYT's article

Now is an excellent time to address it because Perry is running for the White House and needs Iowa- this could force a national discussion on the issue

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

why don't we talk about this mess with BISD

Anonymous said...

Are any settlements on the agenda tomorrow for BIsD?