Impacts Continue, Four Years into BP Oil Spill Disaster
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - Nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study says the disaster is far from over.
Much research remains to be done, said Dr. Doug Inkley, senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation, but the science shows that wildlife still are feeling the impacts and the oil is not gone.
"There is oil on the bottom of the gulf, oil is washing up on the beaches and oil's still in the marshes," Inkley said. "I'm really not surprised by this, to tell you the truth. In Prince William Sound in Alaska, 25 years after the wreck of the Exxon Valdez, there are still some species that have not fully recovered - two-and-a-half decades later."
The April 20, 2010, explosion on BP's Deepwater rig killed 11 people and sent more than 4 million barrels of oil into the gulf, in the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The report examined how the spill has affected more than a dozen species in the gulf. Inkley said that includes issues with oysters and tuna, loons and pelicans, sperm whales and dolphins.
"Dolphins in the heavily oiled area of Barataria Bay are still sick and dying," he said. "The evidence is stronger than ever, according to NOAA, that these deaths are connected to the oil spill - 900 dolphins since the oil spill began. If you line up those 900 dolphins from head to toe, that's one-and-a-half miles of dead dolphins."
The spill also affected five sea turtle species found in the Gulf of Mexico, all of them listed as either threatened or endangered. Pamela Plotkin, director of Texas Sea Grant, said that includes the Kemp's ridley sea turtle, which had seen its population rebound year after year until Deepwater. Now, she said, they're also being threatened by last month's spill in Galveston Bay.
"The biggest concern is the oil that has left the bay and has moved south down towards Matagorda Ilsand and the Aransas Wildlife Refuge," she said. "So, that oil that has moved offshore is going right through the migratory corridor of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle."
Up to 168,000 gallons of oil spilled in late March when a barge and a ship collided in Galveston Bay, which averages close to 300 oil spills of various sizes each year.
The report is online at nwf.org.
get more stories like this via email
DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …
HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …
SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …
Health and Wellness
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …
BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …
BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…