Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge encompasses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat. The name Bon Secour is French for “safe harbor,” very appropriate considering the sanctuary it provides for native flora and fauna. This refuge is a natural oasis of wildlands, where wildlife can exist without harm. It may be too cold to go in the water, but even in winter, a walk on the beach can be a beautiful experience. Photo by Stephanie Pluscht, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Typically measuring ~88 centimeters (but with recordings found up to 104 centimeters), the venomous golden cow-nose rays migrate in groups of up to 10,000 as they make their way towards their summer feeding grounds in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (otherwise known as the BP oil spill) in April of 2010 flowed for 87 days and released an estimated total of 210 million gallons of oil. This spill left a sheet of petroleum on the surface
of the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the most devastating spills in history. In November 2012, BP and the United States Department of Justice settled
federal criminal charges with BP pleading guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter,
two misdemeanors, and a felony count of lying to Congress. BP also
agreed to four years of government monitoring of its safety practices
and ethics, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that BP
would be temporarily banned from new contracts with the US government.