BP oil spill damage to last for decades

Toxic tar balls range in size from three inches to eight. Found on Key West beach.

By Carol Forsloff

BP says it is now siphoning off approximately 2,000 barrels out of 5,000 believed to be leaking from a ruptured riser tube in the Gulf of Mexico. That won’t be enough, however, to stop what wildlife authorities declare will be decades-long disaster.

Yesterday BP proclaimed its success with the riser insertion tool.

Wildlife experts counter the damage is already done. They anticipated years, if not decades, of impact on the creatures that live in the Gulf region.

BP announced on Monday, May 17 through Doug Suttles, Chief Operation officer and ongoing spokesperson in the Gulf regarding the oil spill, “The insertion tool has diminished the leak but hasn’t stopped it.”

It hasn’t stopped it. Furthermore there are scientists such as Ian MacDonald who maintain there are potentially many more thousands of barrels of oil going into the Gulf of Mexico than estimated by BP.

The amount of oil, however, isn’t seen as the most important issue, however, as Suttles has observed over the past several days at press conferences in the Gulf. Instead it is the efforts to stop the oil spill.

Suttles said, “Our efforts offshore are making a big difference.”

He went on to describe how he had flown over the Gulf region and seen, “the smallest amount of oil since the incident began.”

It is that oil, however, that is now found on the beaches of Florida and impacting the coast.
There are grave consequences to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana and up the coast of the United States as the oil is said to have reached what is called the loop current.

How much more impact could there be? On Tuesday, May 18, wildlife experts had a teleconference to spell out the specifics, in terms of the impact to wildlife. They included the following:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director, Rowan Gould
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Roger Helm
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Senior Science Advisor and Liaison Officer at the Unified Area Command, Dr. Ralph Morgenweck,
NOAA Fisheries Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, Glenn Plumb
National Park Service Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. Steve Murawski
Cactoctin Mountain Park Superintendent and National Park Service Liaison Officer at the Unified Area Command Center, J. Mel Poole,
Director of NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, Dr. Teri Rowles
NOAA Fisheries National Sea Turtle Coordinator, Barbara Schroeder

Dr. Rowan Gould spelled out the seriousness of the presentation situation as he and other experts outline efforts being made to minimize the impact to wildlife in the Gulf. He said, “The spill is significant. It could affect North America for years if not decades.”

Gould outlined how various wildlife interact in the ocean waters and that “we may never know the impact on the total system” even as he defined it as an unprecedented threat to fish and wildlife.

In the meantime people on the Gulf say, “Y’all come on down” with regard to tourism in anticipation that BP was right yesterday about its first successes.

That was before the May 18 teleconference, indicating the problem has spread into the Gulf, impacting potentially thousands of species of wildlife in what Glenn Plumb of NOAA said could be the long-term effects brought about by potential storm surges on the Gulf.

Experts on wildlife habitation today said, “We may never know the impact on the total environment from this oil spill.”

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Posted by on May 18 2010. Filed under Featured, More News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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