So our Executive Director Vic Ferguson wanted to say a few words himself about his trip to The Clean Gulf Convention.
I recently had the opportunity to attend “The Clean Gulf Convention” in New Orleans. This is the world’s largest 1st response convention with attendees from around the World.
With my life time career in the geo-sciences, participating in exploration/production both upstream and downstream internationally and domestically I was somewhat apprehensive about talking to the petroleum response industry, thinking that my discussion about coral reef conservation would fall on deaf ears. I was pleased to find representatives of these corporations were not only willing to listen, but expressed an active interest in supporting our programs to help preserve our marine treasures around the world. I believe the single minded corporations of the past that focused only on the rate of return on investment for so many years, now sees a new light.
Especially since the Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this next generation of corporate heads sees the need to preserve the environment and minimize our negative impact on it.
In some circles corporations now see a responsibility to make an effort to support projects that do not focus solely on highly funded, high rate of return projects and what consequences might arise from their operations. But now see that the loss of Biodiversity is now included in some program developments. It is now making sense and is good Public Relations for an industry that develops a product necessary for the growth and development of civilizations.
I believe that an environmental balance needs to be achieved sooner rather than later. It is already been identified that the loss of coral reefs is now in dear need of this balance. We know that petroleum is the product that has brought this civilization to where we are now.
Our use of petroleum’s products has outpaced our ability to deal with its consequences not only locally but worldwide as well. For those of us that believe in evidence based science, we have a responsibility to share what we know about the consequences of producing and using hydrocarbons, with the rest of the world. The time to be prepared is before an incident happens. It’s more cost effective and could have very large impact in some places in the world for a very long time.
Our network concerned individuals includes corporations and individuals with a real desire to minimize the impact of hydrocarbon consumption. This includes not only our core team members but individuals with extensive experience in delivering timely GIS information that has enabled coastal constituents to plan and execute plans for response both with The Deepwater Horizon and for the recent hurricane Sandy.
I met personally with Andrew Stephens and Devon Humphrey, both Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals with 40 years combined GIS experience, were the primary architects of the GIS Unit and lab at Incident Command Post (ICP) Houma. Mr. Stephens has 20 years GIS experience, teaching GIS to organizations worldwide, and is an expert in GIS deployment, start-up, training and workflow design. Mr. Humphrey has 20 years background in Oil Spill GIS with Texas General Land Office, where he was on the development team of an award-winning oil spill GIS. He has also been an instructor since 1994 at the National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. The ‘Spill School’ is named in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.”
I would like to thank both Drew Stephens and Devon Humphrey for their insight and guidance in the development of a GIS to display an Operational Picture for all to understand all aspects of the disaster. I also want to specifically thank our Australian spokesperson Nina Fitzgerald in Queensland, Diane Smith of Random Wind Tours in St. Maarten, and our ever growing list of ambassadors.
So, we’re counting this event a success. We’ve made a few more contacts, and keeping our proverbial noses to the grindstone. We’re sending Vic to Saint Maarten soon make arrangements for the fundraiser we are currently planning. Don’t forget to do your part!