Four years later and the effects of the BP oil spill are still visible. That is what a new report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) gathering the results of a series of studies in the affected areas shows.
“The oil is not gone: There is oil on the bottom of the Gulf, oil is washing up on the beaches, and oil is still on the marshes,” explains NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley.
According to the report, just because we’re not seeing oil covered pelicans on the news anymore, it doesn’t mean species aren’t still suffering. The report identified 14 different species with ailments related to the exposure to oil. Among them were ongoing illness in dolphins in Louisiana, decreased oyster reproduction, increasing amounts of toxic oil in loons that winter off the coast of Louisiana, over 500 dead turtles washing ashore every year for the last three years — a much higher rate than average — and bluefin and yellowfin tuna having irregular heartbeats or heart attacks as a result of exposure to one of the chemicals in the oil.
BP called the study “a piece of political advocacy — not science” but the scientists at NWF reinforce that the study shows strong evidence that the 200 million gallons of oil that spilled into the ocean are still detrimental to the environment.
“Despite what BP would have you believe, the impacts of the disaster are ongoing,” said Sara Gonzalez-Rothi, NWF’s senior policy specialist for Gulf and coastal restoration.
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