Sunday, April 20, 2014

Four Years Later, BP’s Oil Spill Is Still Killing Gulf Wildlife

Dr. Bob MacLean, Audubon Institute senior veterinarian, releases a sea turtle that had previously been impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, back into the Gulf of Mexico, 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. (Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Click to enlarge.
It’s been four years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion killed 11 people and spilled 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, but the effects of the disaster are still being felt by Gulf wildlife, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday by the National Wildlife Federation, looked at the health of 14 Gulf species, including bottlenose dolphins, blue crabs, coral, and multiple bird species and found that many of them are still struggling with the health effects of the spill.  Scientists said on a press call Tuesday that though their report provides a good framework for the years after the spill, it was difficult to find adequate reports on many species’ health because much of the research hasn’t yet been published due to BP’s ongoing trials.

“No matter what BP and others are telling you, the oil is not gone,” Doug Inkley, NWF senior scientist, said on the call.  Oil continues to wash up on the Gulf’s shores — as recently as April 2, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials found more than 350 tar balls on beaches in Escambia County, Florida. 

Inkley said he isn’t surprised that species continue to suffer as a result of the spill, given that 25 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, some parts of the ecosystem in Prince William Sound still haven’t recovered.

Four Years Later, BP’s Oil Spill Is Still Killing Gulf Wildlife

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