Fla. Biologist Has Biblical Oil Spill Solution

Operation Noah's Ark is underway in the Panhandle

By Todd Wright
|  Friday, Jun 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:10 PM EDT
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Since the Deepwater Horizon spill has already been compared to Armageddon by residents of the Gulf Coast, why not go Biblical with a possible solution?

Enter Noah's Ark, or at least one Florida marine biologist's version of the life-saving boat.

Jack Rudloe, who has written several books and directed documentaries on marine life, has been collecting animals by the dozens in hopes of saving Florida's water life before the oil overruns the coast.

The animals are being stored at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, which is run by Rudloe and his wife, Ann, who is also a biologist. The lab is located in the Panhandle, where oil and tar balls have already started to surface.

It's not quite two-by-two, but Rudloe says the endeavor is the best option out there.

"Noah’s Ark will take lots of man hours and lots of money," Rudloe said. "The lab is asking for half a million dollars, but so far BP isn’t willing to pay.”

The idea has been pitched to state legislators and Panhandle officials, who tend to be backing the plan. Florida is already getting $25 million from BP, with mor elikely to come, so therer may be a little money for the ark.

The lab has already collected shrimps, oysters, several diffferent species of crabs and anything else that will fit in the lab's small tanks. The lab could hold up to 300 species of sea life, Ann Rudloe said.

But the oil spill presents another problem for the lab.

It gets most of the 30,000 gallons of water from pipes that pump in sea water, the same water that could be tainted by the oil spill. The lab would have to be retrofitted to sustain itself once the oil arrives inorder to pull off a Noah-like preservation effort, Ann Rudloe said.

Still, the Rudloes plan on following the blueprint created a few thousand years ago to the letter.

"The purpose of this is sustainability," he said. "To hold these things and then as needed and in the appropriate places, start releasing some of this stuff back into the environment."

Godspeed.

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