Four years after oil spill, environmentalists still looking for restoration
A National Wildlife Federation study of Gulf wildlife four years after the BP oil spill shows a continued effect on bottlenose dolphins. According to the report, since 2010, more than 900 dolphins have found dead or stranded in the affected area and last year dolphins were found dead at three times the rate considered normal. The study also looked at ongoing affects on birds, whales and varies species of fish. During a teleconference today, Dr. Pamela Plotkin, an oceanography research professor at Texas A&M, also looked at the effects on sea turtles.
The National Wildlife Federation and other Gulf restoration groups hope the study will help push settlement proceedings with BP to a conclusion and provide guidance into how funds should be used.
"Within several months after the oil spill there were almost 1,200 sea turtles that were recovered live and dead in the spill area. That's a significant number compared to the number of sea turtles that regularly wash ashore alive and dead in that region any year when there is no oil spill. What we don't know is how many turtles were not recovered after the spill occurred. One of the major activities subsequent to the spill was to try to remove the oil at the surface of the water column by burning the oil. In those activities we know that there were countless turtles that were burned because juvenile sea turtles spend a great deal of their time at the surface in the areas where the burns occurred so we're never really going to know the full immediate impact of the oil spill."