Jacques Cousteau at a news conference, Jan. 1996.Jan. 8, 1971: The Gulf Islands National Seashore is established in Florida and Mississippi. The seashore preserves coastal islands along the heavily developed coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Jan. 8, 1979: The oil tanker Betelgeuse explodes and sinks at dockside in Bantry Bay, Ireland. Most of its cargo is recovered, but over 14,000 barrels of oil are spilled.

Jan. 8, 1996: Jacques Cousteau’s (at right) ship, the Calypso, is accidentally rammed and sunk in Singapore Harbor. The ship is raised, but its restoration is stalled by years of disputes between Cousteau’s family members after the captain dies in 1997.

Photo: Marty Lederhandler/AP

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

January 8
American seashores are preserved and the Calypso sinks in Singapore.