If you were to see a BP ad on television, you would hear that everything in the Gulf is just peachy. Heck, you could probably drink the water, it is so clean!
The reality is quite stark in comparison. Not only are the animals suffering from mutations, the water itself is still polluted with tens of millions of gallons of crude oil.
The extent of the damage still afflicting the coast is unknown to the public, as the story no longer has the glitz and glamor to the media. A new report, however, shows just how serious the spill remains.
From NBC News:
New research shows that the BP oil spill left an oily “bathtub ring” on the sea floor that’s about the size of Rhode Island. The study by UC Santa Barbara’s David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig. Valentine said the spill left other splotches containing even more oil. The rig blew on April 20, 2010, and spewed 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf through the summer. Scientists are still trying to figure where all the oil went and what effects it had. The study appears in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“There’s this sort of ring where you see around the Macondo well where the concentrations are elevated,” Valentine said.
He added that oil levels found inside the ring were as much as 10,000 times higher than outside the ring.
The ring of oil is approximately 1,200 sq. miles large.
Predictably, BP was quick to dispel the notion they were responsible for the damage.
“The authors failed to identify the source of the oil, leading them to grossly overstate the amount of residual Macondo oil on the sea floor and the geographic area in which it is found,” the company said in a statement to NBC News. “Instead of using rigorous chemical fingerprinting to identify the oil, the authors used a single compound that is also found in every natural oil seep in the Gulf of Mexico, causing them to find false positives all over the sea floor.” BP also said the researchers’ mapping technique “dramatically overestimates” the impacted area.