Hundreds of dead dolphins and sea turtles are washing ashore on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. No one knows exactly what is killing them though many point to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill of a year ago. In the mean time, BP is spending roughly $100 million in advertising to “clean up” its image.
Dolphin Deaths Designated An ‘Unusual Mortality Event’
406 dolphins were found either stranded or dead between February 2010 and April 2011, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to designate the deaths as an “unusual mortality event” (UME). The agency defines such events as a stranding incident that is unexpected or involves great losses of any marine mammal population.
Sea turtles continue to wash ashore along the Gulf, forcing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to scramble and figure out what is causing the spike. Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Huffington Post were first to publish blogs about the sea turtle deaths in Mississippi.
Like the dolphin strandings this year, it’s likely that many more turtles have died and will never be found. A recent study of dolphin deaths showed the true number of mortalities is probably 50 times what is recovered. As of Friday, NOAA says recent deaths of sea turtles, all of which are included on the Endangered Species list, include 6 in Alabama, 10 in Louisiana, and 47 in Mississippi.
BP tripled its spending on corporate advertising after its devastating crude oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico in April, paying more than $93.4 million for a massive public relations blitz, according to the chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“BP’s increased spending was almost entirely targeted at national and local newspapers and magazines and national and local television advertising,” Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said in a letter summarizing BP’s response to lawmakers’ request for advertising information.
BP spent an additional $89.5 million to boost tourism in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana after the oil platform explosion. Some of the funds may have been used for advertising by each state or its tourism agency, Waxman said.
Thanks to Phil Leon for passing one of article along.