Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Gulf, Still at Risk -

The Gulf, Still at Risk -

by The Editorial Board

 "In the run-up to the fifth anniversary on Monday of one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, the 2010 BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the country has heard happy talk from the company most responsible for it. Using phrases like “returning to pre-spill” or “baseline” conditions, and by emphasizing a rebound in fishing and tourism, BP has been suggesting in its reports and advertising that recovery of the entire ecosystem is just around the corner.

It is not.

While much of the oil has evaporated, been consumed by bacteria or widely dispersed, its poisons linger in marshes and wetlands, deep-sea corals are visibly damaged, and scientists have estimated that millions of gallons settled in roughly 1,200 square miles of the ocean floor, with untold consequences for the health of bottom-dwelling organisms.

An official federal-state natural resource assessment, mandated by the Oil Pollution Act, is still far from complete. In the meantime, it is impossible to say what the long-term effects will be on individual species like bluefin tuna, dolphins and pelicans. As the officials in charge of that study have said, “The environmental effects of this spill are likely to last for generations.”"

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