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Gulf Coral In Spill Zone Appears Healthy

From a deeply disappointed Associated Press:

Gulf corals in oil spill zone appear healthy

By Brian Skoloff, Associated Press Writer
October 22, 2010

ON THE FLOOR OF THE GULF OF MEXICO – Just 20 miles north of where BP’s blown-out well spewed millions of gallons of oil into the sea, life appears bountiful despite initial fears that crude could have wiped out many of these delicate deepwater habitats

Scientists are currently in the early stages of studying what effects, if any, BP PLC’s April 20 oil well blowout off Louisiana and the ensuing crude gusher has had on the delicate deep sea coral habitats of the northern Gulf.

So far, it appears the area dodged a bullet, but more research is needed

Ross and others are conducting research from a Greenpeace ship in the Gulf, using a two-man sub as they work to determine if the corals have suffered damage, or may take a hit from long-term impacts, such as stunted reproduction rates.

"We thought certainly that … we would see signs of damage," Ross said. "And we’re very pleased to say so far, that in these locations, we haven’t seen a large scale damage to the coral habitats. We’re still looking, but so far, it’s good." …

And when they say they are "very pleased," they actually mean they are extremely disappointed.

Sandra Brooke, coral conservation director at the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, who is also participating in the research, agreed. The corals’ reproduction rates will be studied over the coming weeks, she said.

"We have to be careful with our conclusions about this kind of data," Brooke said, noting it will take more than just a few dives to determine the extent of the damage. "We’ll take further analysis but from what we’ve seen so far, it seems like they’ve dodged a bullet."

Long-term impacts, for instance, from 1989’s much smaller Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska took years, even decades to understand.

"We’re just going to have to continue watching," said Margot Stiles, a marine scientist with the conservation group Oceana.

So don’t give up hope yet.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 22nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Gulf Coral In Spill Zone Appears Healthy”

  1. Adam Moreira says:

    As the end of the article says – let’s see the flora in 25-30 years. It usually takes that long to see if the flora (and fauna) have changed. Only a fool would make a statement like this within months.

    (This was the subject not too long ago of an applied microbiology class in which I am enrolled.)

  2. mr_bill says:

    The comparison to the Exxon Valdez doesn’t really work. The Valdez spilled lower quality, heavier crude. The oil from the Macundo well was a much lighter, sweeter oil. Of course, to some folks oil is oil and its all evil.

    I just love it when “journalists” and others that don’t know jack *^&% about oil and gas try to tell us about it, nimrods.

  3. BigOil says:

    This bunch of Greenpeace Kooks can dive all they want – because they will never find any damage due to the oil. This crude oil is less dense than water, so it will never end up on the floor of the Gulf. If there was any oil left, it would float on the surface of the water and wash up in the marshes or on the beaches. Idiots.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      Some of it though did float to shore (primarily to the coast of Louisiana) – that’s where you have to look for the damage. But any significant damage won’t show for at least a decade or two.

      The damage from increased methane levels will take a while to show.

  4. proreason says:

    Surely one of Rush’s greatest predictions.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    all of God’s carbon based life forms need more carbon

    not less

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