Patches of marsh grass that had a 90 percent or greater coating of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster suffered dramatic erosion rates during the two years after the 2010 well blowout, according to a new study. These marshes “didn’t recover; they’re now gone, having been converted to mudflats,” one of the lead scientists said.
It has been six years since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Plants and animals were harmed and the places they call home destroyed. The money brought in by fisheries and tourism was cut. A way of life was tarnished.
In mangroves behind Vizcaya, plastic bottles, tampon applicators and bits of styrofoam regularly get trapped in the tangle of roots as if captured in a storm drain. Out the mouth of the Miami River and across Biscayne Bay on Miami Beach, stormwater flushes human and animal wastes and an array of foul stuff. On Virginia Key, a vial of blood sticks out of the sand.
In 2012, we watched as scientists with the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE), funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), launched hundreds of GPS-equipped drifters into the Gulf to track their movements. This was part of the Grand Lagrangian deployment, or GLAD, which was the largest of its kind ever at the time.