Researchers Only ‘Scratching Surface’ Of Oil Spill’s Long-term Effects
– April 21, 2014
Four years after more than 200 million gallons of Macondo oil began to leak into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are learning more about what long-term effects the ecosystem may endure.
(From houmatoday.com / by Xerxes Wislon) — As scientific studies are painstakingly produced and finally released, the findings are buffeted by rhetoric from various sides of the debate.
This is to be expected as billions of dollars are in play through a long-term assessment of the damage, damage claims by local businesses and individuals and fines aimed at energy major BP.
Scientists do not have a full picture yet of how an intricately intertwined ecosystem may fare over the coming decades, said Kerry St. Pe, director of the Thibodaux-based Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.
“We are just scratching the surface,” he said.
The Coast Guard continues to inspect local beaches and insist the threat for re-oiling remains.
“There is still residual oil in the marsh; we know that,” said Coast Guard spokesman Michael Anderson.
The sensitive marshes are problematic because of the difficulty pulling the oil from the soil. Anderson noted that some stretches of land scheduled to be rid of oil no longer exist.
St. Pe’s organization is responsible for monitoring the well-being of one of the areas hardest hit by the spill. He said the hastened erosion of smaller inshore islands within the estuary is one obvious impact.
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