Six years on, scientists are continuing to tally the ecological harms caused by the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The latest glimpse at the ongoing environmental impacts of the disaster came in a new report by the conservation and advocacy group Oceana, which compiled the findings of a broad range of studies – primarily from the past two years – examining the aftermath of the spill. The report makes clear that the reach of the disaster, which ranks as one of the costliest environmental catastrophes ever, continues to grow.
Among the effects highlighted in the recent report:
– Years after the spill, scientists detected hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon spill in 90 percent of pelican eggs tested in Minnesota – more than 1,000 miles away – where many birds that winter in the Gulf of Mexico spend their summers. In addition, the chemical dispersant used to break up oil in the wake of the spill was found in about 80 percent of the eggs. Researchers say that exposing bird eggs to oil can cause birth defects and premature deaths in offspring. Scientists are continuing to study the problem.