Well over 600 dolphins have been found dead or very ill since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. So far in 2012, 100 have washed up on beaches dead or very sick in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay where oil can still be found in marshes and soil. Barataria isn’t the only area where oil still remains, however. “Today in Louisiana, we still have over 200 miles of oiled shoreline. It’s unbelievable that two years after the oil spill, we still have that degree of oiling. And we have BP and the Coast Guard trying to pull up stakes and get out of here, and that’s frustrating,” said Garret Graves, chairman of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and adviser to Governor Jindal. (Source: NOLA)
Disturbingly, a British Petroleum official said there are only about four to five miles of coastline still requiring oil cleanup. The official surveys, which are not conducted by BP, show 184 miles of Lousiana coastal shoreline and 97 miles of interior shoreline, such as marshes and wetlands, with lingering oil.
Dolphins in areas not impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil have been tested and found to be healthy, like those living in the waters of Sarasota Bay, Florida.
Remember when the federal government said most of the oil was gone? It seemed as though they wanted the public to believe the problems had been solved. One concern about the focus on shoreline and wetlands oil persistence, is it distracts attention away from the possibility there is still oil in deep water which could be damaging to marine wildlife such as coral reefs. “There is no systematic study of the Gulf of Mexico to answer that question. But let’s face it, there’s a lot more oil out there,” said Jacqueline Savitz, chief science officer for Oceana. (Source: NOLA)
Another consideration is the fact it is an election year. Will there be any press about how there is still oil in the Gulf despite the fact the federal government seemed to want the problem to go away? Will anyone ask the tough questions of the current administration, and why they have tried to cut funding to the marine mammal stranding network, or will articles such as this one still need to be written three, four and five years after the 2010 disaster?
Image Credit: Chris Litherland, Wiki Commons