Open Books Hosts Operation Toxic Gulf and Renowned Whale Biologist This Friday

This Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m., members of Operation Toxic Gulf will discuss their current work in the Gulf of Mexico at Open Books, 1040 N. Guillemard St.

The crew of the Research Vessel Odyssey–including whale biologist Dr. Roger Payne–pulled into port last week, and opened their ship to the public for tours. (See a related article )

Back in Pensacola again, Friday’s lecture will provide another opportunity for the public to learn about Operation Toxic Gulf and the efforts of the Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd team.

Press Release:

PENSACOLA, July 8, 2013 – Operation Toxic Gulf—a collaborative expedition between Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society studying the health of the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster—returns to Pensacola on Friday, July 12. At 7 pm Friday the crew will be at Open Books, 1040 N. Guillemard St. in Pensacola, to talk about their work.

The expedition crew includes Dr. Roger Payne, who is best known for his discovery in the 1970’s that Humpback whales sing songs. To counter the idea that you have to kill whales to learn about them, Roger has spent the last 30 years developing non-lethal research techniques, many of which are used worldwide today. Dr. Payne is just one member of an international crew aboard Ocean Alliance’s research vessel Odyssey, which is spending its fourth summer in the Gulf.

Dr. Payne founded the conservation group Ocean Alliance in 1971. Among a lifetime of awards, he is recipient of a United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award (1988) and a MacArthur genius award (1984). He is also a Knight in the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark (1977), and a co-recipient of the Albert Schweitzer medal from the Animal Welfare Institute (1980).

Operation Toxic Gulf is a joint expedition of Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd Netherlands. Ocean Alliance specializes in scientific research and advocacy for ocean life—particularly whales–and is based in Gloucester, MA. The Sea Shepherds are an environmental group that works to protect the world’s oceans using direct action, and is familiar to many through the Animal Planet series, Whale Wars.