Monday, August 23, 2010

Mayor Elsa Paz to join Oceana in Gulfport to lend support for Gulf of Mexico Research Expedition

Mayor Elsa Paz, as Mayor of San Pedro has expressed grave concern about the impact that offshore exploration will have on her island community of Ambergris Caye

Gulfport, MS – Oceana and its largest expedition supporter and corporate partner Nautica will be in Gulfport, Miss., Tuesday, August 24, to announce the findings from the first leg of Oceana’s two-month research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico and discuss its plans for the remainder of the expedition. Oceana will report on its efforts to document vulnerable habitats from the Florida Keys to Panama City at risk from future oil spills as well as the results of its project to tag whale sharks, a species at risk from the Gulf oil disaster.

Nautica reaffirmed its commitment to Oceana this week by donating $100,000 to support the organization’s upcoming deepwater exploration efforts near the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. Oceana will use cutting-edge science to help map the subsurface oil plume and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of reaching depths of more than 3,200 feet and filming in high-definition to explore seafloor habitat areas that may have been harmed by underwater oil.

The organizations will be joined by award-winning actors Ted Danson and Morgan Freeman as well as San Pedro (Belize) mayor Elsa Paz and New York-based Spanish model Almudena Fernandez. Oceana in Belize VP, Audrey Matura-Shepherd will be accompanying the mayor on this visit.

WHO: Andrew Sharpless, chief executive officer, Oceana

*Nina Flood, vice president of marketing, Nautica

*Ted Danson, award-winning actor, longtime ocean advocate and Oceana board member

*Morgan Freeman, award-winning actor, longtime Oceana advocate

*Elsa Paz, mayor, San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, Belize

*Almudena Fernandez, Spanish model and Oceana spokesperson

*Dr. Michael Hirshfield, scientist-in-charge of expedition, senior vice president for North *America and chief scientist, Oceana

*Xavier Pastor, expedition leader, vice president for Europe, Oceana

Oceana in Belize VP, Audrey Matura-Shepherd

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