The cable TV news crews may have long since departed, but the work of repairing the environmental and economic damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster is far from complete. During the course of the spill, roughly 4.9 million barrels of crude flowed into the Gulf. Recent research indicates the region’s ecosystem could be affected for years to come.

“The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill ‘devastated’ life on and near the seafloor, a marine scientist has said.

“Studies using a submersible found a layer, as much as 10cm thick in places, of dead animals and oil, said Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.

“Knocking these animals out of the food chain will, in time, affect species relevant to fisheries. …

“Professor Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington that it may be a decade before the full effects on the Gulf are apparent …

” ‘Filter-feeding organisms, invertebrate worms, corals, sea fans — all of those were substantially impacted — and by impacted, I mean essentially killed.’ ” (“Gulf spill’s effects ‘may not be seen for a decade,’ ” BBC News, February 20, 2011)

Source: Pew Research Center

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