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Before and After Environment

View the Online Video of World Business Review features natural approaches to environmental problems with P.O.L. Sorb.

July-09-2008

Peculiar, MO July 9, 2008 -- With its motto, “Protecting the environment one spill at a time,” The ARK Enterprises [www.arkent.com] has established itself as one of the leading providers

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Nov-10-2002

Multi-Media Productions (USA), Inc. announces the appearance of The A.R.K. Enterprises Inc. on World Business Review Television series hosted by Alexander Haig.

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July 04, 2008

The ARK Enterprises Attracting Worldwide Attention for its Green Products

The ARK's bio-based environmentally responsible tools for hazardous cleanups. Featured on international television program World Business Review, natural absorbents seen as green solution to oil contamination problems.

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coastal spills

Coastal Spills

Coastal Oil Spills benefit from the use of peat absorbents

Oils spills on water are devastating to the environment.

This experience demonstrates the amazing speed and ecological benefits of using "dehydrated" peat absorbents for oil spill clean up. This product offers a fast and environmentally friendly method for protecting the eco-system, including plant and wildlife during oil spill disasters. With this product, the project was cleaned up in record time, not YEARS! In the case of this project, within one month the beaches were clean - and peat made the difference in the death toll of the local wildlife!

Avian Demography Unit Department of Statistical Sciences University of Cape Town Initial effects of the Treasure oil spill on seabirds off Western South Africa

INTRODUCTION
In the early morning of 23 June 2000, the bulk ore carrier MV Treasure sank off western South Africa between Dassen and Robben islands, both Important Bird Areas. Treasure was carrying about 1344 t of heavy fuel oil, 56 t of marine diesel and 64 t of lube oil, of which all but 205 t of heavy fuel oil spilt into the surrounding water. On 24 June oiled African Penguins started to come ashore at Dassen and Robben islands. Oil moved towards Robben Island, where booms were attached to the end of the breakwater at Murrays Bay Harbour in an attempt to keep oil from reaching that portion of the island's coastline used by most penguins for accessing the breeding area. The booms parted on the night of 24 June, and oil came ashore between the breakwater and the northern point of the island. This meant that almost all penguins arriving at or leaving the island would become oiled. Additionally, oil covered large portions of the foraging grounds of penguins at Robben Island. A few days later, the oil moved north towards Dassen Island, which it reached on 28 June. Large quantities of oil came ashore at Whale Bay, the southern portion of Area C and Ichaboe Point, and lesser quantities in Lime Kiln Bay, portions of Waterloo Bay, the northern portions of Area G and portions of Boom Point. Prevailing currents continued to move the oil north, leading to concern that seabird colonies at islands farther north, including Vondeling Island and islands in West Coast National Park, would also be impacted. By 1 July, no oil was observed north of Dassen Island, but large slicks remained between Dassen and Robben islands and south of Robben Island and continued to threaten penguins until 16 July. In addition to African Penguin, other endangered seabirds were at risk from the Treasure spill. On 20 June 1994, the Apollo Sea sank between Dassen and Robben islands. Oil came ashore on Dassen Island at West Bay and House Bay, and later also on Robben Island. This resulted in about 10000 penguins being oiled, of which 4718 were successfully cleaned by Southern African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and later returned to the wild. The other 5000 birds died, many during transportation from the islands to SANCCOB's rescue stations or in the first few days after arriving at the stations. Before the sinking of Treasure, the Apollo Sea incident was the largest oiling event for seabirds in southern Africa. Soon after Treasure sank, it became apparent that a much larger number of birds was at risk of becoming oiled, and that unless steps were take to minimize this number, it may prove beyond the capacity of SANCCOB to care for. This paper discusses steps that were taken to minimize the numbers of birds that became oiled and remedial measures that were implemented for those that were oiled. It also assesses the initial impact of the Treasure oil spill on the seabirds off western South Africa. It is not yet possible to report the final impact of the spill because many seabirds are still at the rescue centers. Additionally, it will be several years before follow-up studies are able to assess the long-term impact of the spill on the seabird colonies.

EXCERPTS FROM THIS ARTICLE:
At Robben Island, the strategy involved two components. Firstly, attempts were made to catch all penguins congregating rocks contaminated with oil were initially piled together and dusted with an absorbent peat-based dust that rendered them dry. They were later returned to the beach area. The rocky coastline and intertidal region were cleaned by rubbing fine absorbent material into the oil on the rocks and brushing it off with hard bristle brushes. Kelp contaminated with oil was removed and buried on the island. A survey showed the Robben Island coastline to be mostly clean of oil on 5 July. At Dassen Island, the initial effort was directed at collecting oiled penguins, but once oil approached the island attempts wereIn spite of oiling of the intertidal feeding areas of African Black Oystercatchers, only one dead oystercatcher was found at absorbent peat used to clean oil off the shores was non-toxic to intertidal invertebrates, and probably did little additional damage to potential food for oystercatchers. The impact of the spill on African Black Oystercatchers was probably minimal. As in the Apollo Sea oil spill, great damage to the penguins resulted from oil from Treasure beaching at Dassen and Robben the use of peat to remove oil from coastlines reduced numbers of birds becoming oiled.For the complete study article, please visit the University of Cape Town's website at:

http://www.uct.ac.za/depts/stats/adu/oilspill/oilspill.htm.

How are the penguins doing a year after the spill?

They are THRIVING and the bird population has been rising every year.

Click here to see the video

 


ARTICLE FROM DISCOVERY CHANNEL:Mopping up oil with nature's helpBy: Steven Hunt, March 29, 2001

On June 23, 2000 disaster struck the African penguin colonies of Dassen and Robben Islands off the coast of South Africa. The MV Treasure went down after taking on water and leaked 1300 tons of oil into an area that 41 per cent of the African penguins called home. In the final tally over 20,000 penguins were oiled and just under 2,000 died. Given that it was the worst oil spill in South Africa's history, the number of birds that survived was miraculous. In large part it was due to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who individually washed and cleaned the penguins and relocated them while the area was being cleaned up. But the success story in the wake of this disaster was really how efficiently the islands were cleaned of the oil. And that's where an homage to Mother Nature and Canada deserves to be made.

In the days that followed the disaster, a company in South Africa was contracted to help clean up the oil slick that was polluting these nesting sites for penguins. The activated peat moss product they used, hailed from Canada - Alberta to be exact. And it did wonders in making the best of a bad situation. As the company's Vice president points out they had their work cut out for them.

"Their main function was to clean the rocks and to create safe runways for the penguins to go from the breeding grounds down into the water," says Long. "So our product was used to create what they call runways for them. And the product was used to clean all the rocks surrounding the total island area."What made the peat moss so effective was its natural ability to soak up the oil - an ability largely thanks to the properties of sphagnum moss of which it's made. "Sphagnum moss has a unique root structure called rhizoids," Long explains, "that contain barrel cells - large cells within the structure that have the capacity to encapsulate all derivatives of crude oil." This only occurs after a heat activation process whereby the moss is dried to a point where it's only 10 per cent water- in its natural state it contains 90 per cent. When it gets to this state, it can absorb approximately 10 times its own weight in hydrocarbons. As Long points out, "it's important to remember that sphagnum moss at a very early stage is a hydrocarbon. Eventually at the bottom of that structure you will get brown coal and black coal - which of course are carbons. This is why it works so well with any derivative of crude oil because they're all part of the same family." When the peat moss is thrown onto the sea, as it was on Dassen Island (or onto the land), it will immediately encapsulate the oil, the chemical or whatever - it will take anything except water. "It floats on the water's surface and the product is wicked into the cell structure and it will not release it," says Long, "which is very important because if you're going to put it into a landfill you need to know it's not going to end up in the ground water." What's also great about activated peat moss is that it naturally contains humic acid which Long says is one of the best catalysts you can have in the process of breaking down hydrocarbon molecules. With the help of microbes in the soil that produce enzymes, the oil is slowly digested, leaving carbon dioxide, water and fatty acids as byproducts - all environmentally friendly. And if that weren't enough, the sphagnum moss behind it all is a renewable resource that gets stronger with each harvest cycle. It may have been the worst environmental disaster for the penguins of South Africa, but without the sphagnum moss from Canada, the situation could have been a lot worse. It was a made-to-order natural solution to an environmental catastrophe. For information on using peat for oil spill clean up, send us an email at:
mailto: info@arkent.com

Interesting facts from the MV Treasure oil spill in 2000

  • 18 516 oiled penguins were rescued by SANCOBB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) from Robben Island and Dassen Island.
  • 3 350 penguin chicks were rescued and reared by people.
  • Due to a mammoth effort, only about 1 957 oiled penguins died.
  • To protect them from the oil, 19 506 un-oiled penguins were captured and taken further up the South African coast. These penguins swam over 778km back to Robben Island, including the now famous penguins – Peter, Pamela and Percy – who were fitted with satellite transmitters by the Avian Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town. Their trip was mapped on the ADU’s website and followed by admirers from around the world.

    Some of the African penguins displayed here are third-generation captive-bred birds from the World of Birds in Hout Bay. Others are rescued birds that were donated to the Aquarium by uShaka Marine World in Durban.

    These penguins are breeding successfully. The chicks are released back into the wild by SANCCOB under the guidance of Cape Nature Conservation and the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town.
 

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