At first glance, the marshy, muddy coastline of Bay Jimmy in southeast Louisiana appears healthy three years after the nation's worst offshore oil spill. Brown pelicans and seagulls cruise the shoreline, plucking fish and crabs from the water. Snails hold firm to tall blades of marsh grass.
Underneath the surface, environmentalists and scientists fear there may be trouble, from tiny organisms to dolphins. Yet the long-term environmental impact from the spill is still not fully known and will likely be debated for years to come.
BP has spent billions of dollars on cleanup efforts since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and a well ruptured April 20, 2010, spilling 200 million gallons of crude.
The oil fouled 1,110 miles of beaches and marsh along Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Fishing waters were closed and thousands of people who depend on the Gulf's deep blue waters wondered if the coast would ever be the same again. Crews continue to find oil buried underneath beaches whenever a tropical storm stirs up the Gulf.
"Visually, the coast looks great, and I think most of what was visible is gone," said David Muth, director of the National Wildlife Federation's Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program.
Still, oil sheens penetrated deep into marshes, worrying Muth.
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National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14
Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.
The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.