This is not just an inconvenience — it’s a serious environmental threat:
Oil from that event often mixed with sand as it neared the coast and sank to the silty floor of the nearshore Gulf. But heavy weather has regularly dredged it up from the soft bottom, where waves carry it to the beach and even push it inside the marsh. The persistence of the oil has kept clean-up crews working along the coast since the April 2010 spill.
While the most toxic parts of raw oil quickly dissipate, the tar mats, tar balls and viscous sludge that reappear after storms remain a threat to fish, wildlife and humans, state authorities said. They can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, known carcinogens that can also disrupt endocrine systems in both humans and wildlife.
Here’s another report:
The U.S. Coast Guard says it has been taking reports of oiled wildlife in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.
“One dead oiled brown pelican, one dead oiled clapper rail, one dead oiled common moorhen, and three live oiled wildlife were recovered near Myrtle Grove,” according to a news release from the Coast Guard.
The dead birds were taken to a rehabilitation center in Belle Chasse. Investigators will perform necropsies to determine the cause of death.
Oil is washing up along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, confirming concerns that the storm could churn up oil in the Gulf of Mexico. A Greenpeace research team took samples from beaches along the Alabama coast on September 2, including from an area with hundreds of tar balls in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.
These reports are frustrating, but it’s hardly surprising.
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