Oil spill cleanup, study carries on

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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