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Although I am an animal advocate, the loss of human lives in the rig explosion on April 20, 2010 is the original tragedy of this disaster. My prayers are with the families of the 11 workers who were killed and those who are recovering from their injuries.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ride the Bull


You know we love to FISH. Nothing underscores the health of the gulf as a great fishing trip … you can really see the bounty of the waters and all that is great about this sportsman’s paradise. We have become complete addicts for kayak fishing – it brings you close to the action and really puts you in the battle for the catch. This weekend, we are fishing in the ‘Ride the Bull’ Kayak Fishing Tournament in Grand Isle, Louisiana. We have donated a prize pack to the junior angler division that a fisherman of any age would love to have. Danny and Kristen Wray of Calm Water Charters do an incredible job of putting on this fun family event – this is their 3rd year, and we are excited to be fishing in it again. Check out their website at www.calmwatercharters.net/ridethebull/  (you have got to watch the you tube video!)  


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

End of Summer 2012

A lot has happened since we last blogged. We have traveled the Gulf of Mexico and swam with dolphins, sting rays, and even manatees. We visited the Sea Turtle Hospital in The Florida Keys and met with some researchers from the University of Miami who are tagging sharks and studying their behavioral patterns. Our book, G is for Gulf, is being printed by the publisher, and we hope to start selling copies soon. We will be updating the blog and Facebook page weekly with news from the Gulf of Mexico. Keep watching for new posts!



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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Making plans for the next step:
It's Spring 2011 and we are making plans for our next project ... we have been working on some school presentations and are waiting to hear back from some grant requests. There are lots of exciting things going on here - we will soon revamp the entire website to share some news with you and get ready for a busy summer of work in support of teaching youth about the animals of the Gulf of Mexico!!!! Thanks for your support!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Year, New Fun

We have lots to share with you over the next few months ... Our family went swimming with the manatees over the Christmas holidays and we have lots of info to share with you about the struggle between manatee and man and what people are doing to help. Keep watching the site for info - we are waaayyy behind  posting to the blog because Rory had a ruptured appendix while we were on that trip! He was VERY sick and had a long recovery, but is back in the saddle again to bring you interesting information and news about the animals of the Gulf of Mexico.

Our organization has lots of cool things planned for the spring & summer - with the main goal of educating and getting kids of all ages interested in the the incredible biodiversity right outside of our door. We strive to do all of this while having fun and raising money to support some of the organizations that rescue and rehabilitate animals in the habitat. We love our friends and volunteers and everyone who has bought t-shirts and wristbands!


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

These are 3 of my favorite things ...
Shrimp, oysters and crabs, oh my! As you sit down with your family during the holidays, these are some delicious things to put on your holiday table that will help the local seafood industry.
First of all, watch this video of an investigation by MSNBC on imported seafood from overseas:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWhorEkzla4 ... GROSS!!!!!

Here is some interesting info about our gulf's shrimp from
The Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival website:

You are likely to find 4 kinds of wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

1. White Shrimp:.First commercially important species which is about 35% of the domestic catch.(Penaeus setiferus)
2. Pink Shrimp:Larger than the White Shrimp by a little, they are sweet and tender.(Penaeus duorarum)
3. Brown Shrimp:Primarily from the salt marsh and sea grass areas during the summer months, brown shrimp represent 55% of our domestic catch.(Penaeus aztecus)
4. Royal Reds:From the deepest, coldest waters-up to 2400 feet deep. They tend to be large and are frozen on board the ships that stay way out a sea a long time, Royal Reds are a brilliant crimson red, or pink and some think they taste like lobster. A mature Royal Red Shrimp is about 3 years old. (Pleoticus robustus or Hymenopenaeus robustus)
Photo: Oysters covered in barnacles

There is interesting news about oyster farming. Researchers have developed a way to grow oysters in a 'water column' instead of harvesting off the bottom and on reefs. Bill Walton, an Auburn University aquaculture and fisheries specialist says, "It’s clean, green and energy efficient." This research is a tri-state effort by universities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Read more about it on the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing website.
Photo: Underwater view of a blue crab

The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. Its shell, or carapace, is actually a mottled brownish color, and mature females have red highlights on the tips of their pincers.

Prized by humans for their sweet, tender meat, these wide-ranging, ten-legged crustaceans are among the most heavily harvested creatures on the planet. Blue crabs also play a key role in managing the populations of the animals they prey on, and constant over-harvesting has had wide-ranging negative effects on the ecosystems they inhabit. Read more facts about them on the National Geographic website.

All 3 of these animals are very sensitive to changes in the gulf environment and habitat. Many people rely on them for food and jobs. We need to help rebuild the reputation of our gulf seafood. The reopened fisheries & farms are deemed environmentally healthy. The feds continue to test the seafood and close areas of risk. SO BUY FRESH SEAFOOD FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO!!!!!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bluefin Tuna - The Delicious Torpedo

The report posted last week referred to the following story
http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=13342951 about the health of the gulf. This week, I want to concentrate on 1 species - THE BLUEFIN TUNA. The article states:
"The spill, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, happened in the precise place at just the right time to threaten the bluefin larvae bobbing on the surface. The Gulf of Mexico is the only known spawning area for western Atlantic bluefin.Was it catastrophic for the bluefin? 'Probably not,' said NOAA's John Lamkin, who expects data back from Poland near the end of the year. But he added: 'Any larvae that came into contact with the oil doesn't have a chance.' Scientists participating in the AP survey were not optimistic about the bluefin. They ranked the health of the tuna before the spill at a fragile 55. That's now down to about 45."

Here are some facts about the Bluefin Tuna:
- The Gulf of Mexico is the major spawning ground of the western population of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

- it is an incredible hunter
-Tuna, originates from the Greek word meaning "to rush,"
- it can swim at speeds of 1.5-
4 knots, can maintain 8 knots for some time, and can break 20 knots for short periods. That's REALLY fast - 20 knots is 23 miles per hour (mph).The world record for a human 100 meter dash is 23.4 miles per hour. Ask a parent to drive in your neighborhood at 23 miles per hour and see for yourself!

These fast speeds make them incredible hunters. Check out this National Geographic video:

Unfortunately for them, the blue fin tuna also tastes delicious and is very highly prized by sushi chefs. They are caught faster than they can reproduce. It grows to maturity very slowly.

- make sure you ask for a bluefin alternative next time you go to a seafood or sushi restaurant.
- Download the iphone app - Seafood Watch by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium(
It show alternatives to Blue Fin and other endangered seafood.
- If you catch one while fishing in the gulf, tag it if you can & release it so it can have a chance to survive.

Let's keep working on helping the animals of the Gulf of Mexico!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

6 months after - A Gulf Report Card

What do you think? An Associated Press poll of scientists asked for a rating of the gulf's current overall health. They gave it a 65 - but it was only a 71 before the oil spill! They say  "there's still a lot of wariness of what that long-term impact is going to be." Check out the article on WAFB's website, http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=13342951 It explains that "research findings already released have led scientists and the government to shift their focus from the sea's surface to deeper waters and the ocean bottom."

Well, that's what we have been been saying all along! There's a lot of animals out there that will be affected for years to come - not just by the BP oil spill, but from runoff of fertilizers dumped into the Mississippi River and carried out to the gulf, irresponsible overfishing and other industrial pollutants. We, as kids and young adults, have to keep studying and learning all about the gulf so we can teach others. There are many adults out there that can help, and organizations such as CCA & Gulf Restoration Network can help change the laws that protect and oversee the conservation of this precious resource. Everyone should be able to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico - whether vacationing with your family at the beaches in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida, fishing offshore, YOLO boarding, SCUBA diving, whatever! We have to share it with each other and the animals that call it home.

The Gulf Restoration Network has some aerial photos taken yesterday, October 19, 2010. They show oil still in the water and coastline. Click on the link below to see, because a picture is worth a thousand words!http://www.flickr.com/photos/healthygulf/sets/72157625075997623/with/5097480351/


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A word from Rory's family:
Here we are, 6 months after the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. Where do we stand? kidslovethegulf.org has had tremendous success uniting kids in the fundraising effort to help rescue & rehabilitate marine animals hurt by the spill. It has been a joy watching them learn about the gulf and then share their knowledge with their peers. I grew up in Louisiana and never knew whales lived in the Gulf of Mexico! These kids have taught us all so much. They will continue to raise money to donate to LMMSTRP and to grow the program to help teach us more about the animals and the delicate ecosystem that we share. Industry & Mother Nature can coexist ... it is up to this generation to learn to keep the delicate balance. They are the stewards of the future and have proved that even a kid can make a difference!
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rebound & Recovery
Hello everyone ... I have lots of news to share with you! Both good news and bad news ...

Good News: The well is killed!
Bad News: There is oil still out there! There is a great article from National Geographic on a couple of studies funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation). Here are the links: 
Why the Gulf Oil Spill Isn't Going Away
and the video
Baby Blue Crab Research in Mississippi
What they are saying is that there is still oil out there in the envionment and it is still affecting many animals.

According to National Geographic, there's some encouraging news from the Gulf. As a comparison, during the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill,3,100 marine mammals and more than a hundred thousand birds succumbed in Alaska's Prince William Sound.

By contrast, more than a thousand turtles, 70 marine mammals, and 4,000 birds have died so far from the Gulf oil spill, according to NOAA. (See "Gulf Oil Spill Pictures: Birds, Fish, Crabs Coated.")

Now, my question is, those numbers are from the past few months, but what about the fish kill in Plaquemines Parish last week??? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100916-fish-kill-louisiana-gulf-oil-spill-dead-zone-science-environment/
Some scientists say that it was a 'normal' late summer fish kill due to low oxygen levels and the run off from the Mississippi River. Okay, I get that. But could the massive low oxygen levels be due to the oil spill?  Methane gas is another by product of the spill. Microbes love to eat the stuff, and will help clean up the environment naturally (Read more about how nature is fighting the oil spill.)Researcher Samantha Joye says: "While methane is less toxic than oil and breaks down faster, bacteria still need oxygen to degrade it—creating another oxygen sink in the system."
Soooo, more methane & oil in water + hungry bacteria= lower oxygen levels = MASSIVE FISH KILLS!!!!

I believe that the environment will rebound & recover. I believe we need to keep researching the impact on the wildlife. It is all connected; we are all connected. Let's keep learning more and asking questions so we can react better in the future.

Some more good news - because the fish have gotten a break this summer, they are hungry!!!!! Many of the fisheries have reopened and many more are being tested for safety. If you get a chance, bring a kid fishing!!!!!!

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to School / Shark Expert's Thoughts / AWESOME Whales!

Okay, school has started and I am behind in updating my blog – SORRY! I am going to let my mom update it with me so that together, we can make sure there is a weekly update. We will let you know which one of us is updating each time, and as always, nothing is posted without my review.

My sister, cousin, mom & I went to New Orleans to meet with Miss Gina Trapani of the Audubon Institute and give her our first check! We got to see several Kemp’s Riley sea turtles that have been rescued & are on exhibit at the aquarium. Check out the pictures on the kidslovethegulf Facebook page. I really love the gulf oil rig exhibit at the Aquarium of the Americas – it is really cool and reminds me of all of the different fish that swim in the gulf. These rigs are important to the gulf wildlife because they create artificial reefs and shelter. It is amazing what all lives there.

Several of the first turtles that were rescued were released into the wild this past week. Check out http://www.wafb.com/global/story.asp?s=13004973 for the story.

The Washington Post had Andy Dehart, marine biologist and shark advisor to Discovery Channel's Shark Week, was online on Aug. 4, to discuss the series, swimming with sharks & conservation. Here’s what he had to say about the spill’s effect on the shark population:
Q. Effects of the Oil spill on Sharks? I know that predators at the top of food chains can be particularly sensitive to ecological disasters if one or two food sources are affected. What is the potential magnitude of the impact on Atlantic Shark populations of this BP Spill? How long do you expect we'll see those effects?
A. Andy Dehart writes:The potential for long term damage to shark populations is huge!  This disaster could affect the entire gulf ecosystem for decades.  The gulf is home to a huge variety of shark species, many of which use the northern Gulf of Mexico to pup and then the young stay in the area for years feeding on the abundant fish.  As sharks are slow to mature, have few young and often do not breed every year this spill could throw off that cycle for years to come. There is also the direct affect to sharks that get oil on their gills and then suffocate or the ones that are poisoned through eating small levels of toxic oil residue in numerous fish called bioaccumulation. – August 04, 2010 12:23 PM  

Finally, here are a few links to some cool videos of WHALES right in our very own Gulf of Mexico!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idxniMZSFKI  … sperm whale swimming by an ROV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb-hujQs2dY … another sperm whale investigating an ROV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sPWbFg2HWE … killer whales off of Texas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeHdLMJ5oAA … killer whales off of Orange Beach, FL.

How cool is that!?!
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's DONATION DAY! We are heading down to New Orleans to give the Audubon Institute the first check for $5000!!!!!

In the news, BP is continuing to stop the flow of oil & kill the well. BUT THE RECOVERY IS NOT OVER! As the oil breaks down, the need for animal emergency rescue lessens. BUT there are many, many animals out there that cannot be rescued. The oil has affected the food chain and we need to continue to help the coast & gulf recover. This week, CCA (Coastal Conservation Association)sent a letter to BP urging the company to approve funding of a proposal made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for a saltwater hatchery system on the coast. They believe the hatchery system is a good long-term solution for the recovery of several important species.

There are many things we can do to help ... one of them is learning all you can about the gulf and telling everyone you know about kidslovethegulf.org!! Let's keep on pushing for our next goal: $10,000!!!!
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear friends and kids who love the gulf! Bistro Byronz is having a 'fun'draiser for us!!!! We have some fun things planned, so please come out & enjoy GOOD FOOD for a GOOD CAUSE! On MONDAY, AUGUST 9th, they are donating 20% of in house food orders and 10% of to-go orders to kidslovethgeulf.org!!!!!!

So, save the date!
kidslovethegulf.org LOVES Bistro Byronz!
5412 Government Street
5:00 p.m. til close
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Happy Shark Week everyone! This week is my favorite week of the year-Shark Week + my birthday! I love shark week so much because the way they film the sharks is so cool. The sharks are amazing because of their grace and size. The whole family watched Shark Week last night. Check out things on Shark Week at the discovery channel site.  They have cool games (like ‘shark yourself’) and quizzes to test your knowledge.  There are several important species of sharks in the gulf like the bull shark, the tiger shark, the mako, the cookie cutter, the blue shark, and one of the coolest: the whale shark. Check out the LIVE webcam at the Georgia Aquarium – they have at least 2 whale sharks!!!!

I just got back room the Gulfarium camp in Fort Walton Beach. The camp was so cool – we had a dolphin encounter, fed the sting rays and learned a lot about the tortoises, sea turtles, pinnipeds (sea lions & seals), river otters, sharks and the exotic birds they house there. The camp was headed by Miss Chris and Mr. Frank – it was really fun. We did not see any oil on the beach – one day there were a few small tar balls, but they were more like hard rocks or driftwood – not the goopy stuff you see on the news. The beach was still beautiful and we had fun jumping waves & body boarding. On the way home we ate at Lu Lu’s (Jimmy Buffet’s sister’s restaurant) and I had the best burger ever.

Some cool things have been happening with the website - we got an order from ALASKA! We also received a donation from a soldier stationed on the FOB Endeavor – really cool. We are trying to work with The Audubon Institute to set up an appointment to go down to give a donation check this week before school starts. We are waiting to hear from them.


Another  local businesses are helping us out with our cause:

Yoga Bliss has placed some of our shirts in their studios – please go by if you get a chance.

They have 2 locations, but they are there depending on the class schedule, so please call to check to see when they are open.
Yoga Bliss                                                                                           
7384 Highland Rd
Kenilworth Plaza - 2nd Floor

Yoga Bliss- Mid City
1857 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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Friday, July 16, 2010

THE OIL HAS STOPPED FLOWING! At least for now. BP has announced that the new cap is working - hopefully they can continue to fix the problem without any setbacks.

In the animal news: because there are so many scientists in the gulf, a lot of research is being done. I wish I was there! They actually discovered a new species of pancake batfish (click and see!). Here is a quote from one of the dudes: ""One of the fishes that we describe is completely restricted to the oil spill area," says study co-author John Sparks, of the American Museum of Natural History, in a statement."If we are still finding new species of fishes in the Gulf, imagine how much diversity -- especially micro diversity -- is out there that we do not know about."

Think about it: there is a lot out there that we don’t know about. So let’s focus on helping the animals and being their voices! 
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hello everyone! The second order of t-shirts is in and we will begin shipping tomorrow. Please keep telling everyone about the website! We were featured in The Advocate last Thursday – thanks to Miss Emily Kern Hebert for her nice article! The response we have received is outstanding – lots of people are behind us!In the news, BP is still working on capping the leak. They used robots to take off the cap that was placed in June and are trying to lower another cap by Monday. So, the oil is still leaking! In animal news, scientists from all over are offering their opinions about what animals will be affected. They have named the sea turtles, dolphins, whales, whale sharks, blue fin tuna, brown pelican, etc. as being the victims of the oil spill. But we could have told them that a long time ago! THERE ARE MANY ANIMAL VICTIMS OF THE OIL SPILL! We don’t need experts to tell us that! Just look at the pictures. Just think about the last time you went to beach and saw seashells, pelicans, seagulls, & dolphins. Think about the last time you went fishing and saw snapper, redfish, triggerfish, flounder, bonito, pompano, or tarpon. Think about the videos of whales, sea turtles, whale sharks, sharks, jellyfish and oarfish that you can see on The Discovery Channel. Have you ever had the opportunity to see a manatee in real life? Well, THEY ARE ALL VICTIMS! We have to be their voice. The oil will affect their food sources, their bodies and their young. Please – HELP US to HELP THEM!!!!!! What can you do? Tell EVERYONE ABOUT US!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hey everybody, I’m going to be on TV tonight! Check out Cox cable channel 37 at 10:00 p.m. for Paradise Louisiana (if you can’t get it, just click on the link). These guys were so nice to me – I really want to thank them for helping us (you & me) get the word out about the website. Mr. Don Dubuc has offered to interview me on WWL Saturday morning around 8:45 a.m. (WWL 870 out of New Orleans). I am so thankful for everyone’s help … Mr. David Cresson sent out an e-newsletter to the Louisiana members of CCA (Coastal Conservation Association) … there are so many great things happening to help this effort!Check back late next week for another update – my family and I are taking a break for the 4th of July holiday.Try to go fishing this weekend – spend time with your family and have fun!Rory
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

I can't believe what's happening ...

   Hello everyone - I want to give you an update of what has been going on. Your response has been unbelievable - we are making a difference! I have been thinking about the future of this project and this week i formed a corporation - the purpose of it is to raise money and help kids make a difference in helping the animals of the oil spill. In the future, i hope to help educate my friends and other kids about the Gulf of Mexico and how to protect it. There are many interesting things out there from the marshes to the deep sea - the natural beauty and diversity of the wildlife is breathtaking. 
   I have learned so much this past week - and so many adults have gone out of their way to help me.  They just came to me offering to help: Mr. Thomas Cotten (CPA) met with me and taught me about setting up a business. Mr. Kevin Curry (Tax Lawyer) put together the paperwork and helped me register my business. Mr. Craig Netterville (Iberia Bank) set up an account for me. They were very nice in helping me. Let me make myself clear, my corporation is not intended to make me money - it is to raise money to donate to the gulf animal rescue. I am spending LOTS of time working on this because I love the gulf!  
   Some very exciting things are happening - I am going to meet Mr. Gary Rispone of the fishing show Paradise Louisiana to talk to him about what we are trying to do. My buddies are coming over Tuesday morning to help pull the first orders; my Boy Scout Troop (Troop 1) is coming over Tuesday evening to help get everything ready to ship. There are orders from Los Angeles, Canada, Washington D.C., along with lots of people on the gulf coast. There was even an email from London asking about helping out - can you believe that YOU have helped with all of this?
    Send this website to ALL of your friends - there are a lot of exciting things happening - we have lots of plans for the upcoming weeks - so keep checking back for the news!!!!!

    By the way - check out the links page - I have posted some new ones including a REALLY cool video of a dive under the oil spill. As you watch it, imagine you are a fish swimming through the water under the oil - YUCK!

8:36 pm cdt          Comments

Monday, June 21, 2010

Well, I just came back from camp, and have seen everything that's going on. This is a really big deal! I have over 2000 hits on the website; the Facebook page has over 300 friends! I want to thank all of you for making this possible. Some people who have really helped me are Mr. Renny Carter, Dream Silk Screens (Miss Jenny), Mrs. Shelton Jones, Mr. Chris Gendusa, my teachers, and everyone else who is getting the word out!

It is incredible how the internet works - when you forward this website to your friends, and they forward it to their friends, the word spreads quickly.

There is some sad news to report - a dead sperm whale was found and the carcass is being examined for cause of death. This large animal actually spends a lot of its time in the zone that is affected by the oil spill. It is one of the animals on my list - let's hope that this does not keep happening.

On a lighter note, Miss emily from The Advocate came over to interview me this morning, and remember, I just got back from camp last night and I AM REALLY TIRED. I was really excited about the interview and woke up extra early this morning because i was thinking about it. I was kind of nervous. She was really nice and was easy to talk to. Hopefully, we will be in the paper and can raise more money for LMMSTRP because of it!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US HELP THEM - I will keep you updated on our progress! Keep watching because a lot of exciting things are happening!!!!!
9:29 pm cdt          Comments

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Check out my blog for updates on our progress!
Keep checking back - I will post any news and our fundraising progress as we go along!
9:26 am cdt          Comments

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