BP oil spill may not be cleaned up – aggresive methods will ruin fragile Gulf Coast

Filed in Gather News Channel by on May 22, 2010 0 Comments
A ribbon of oil is seen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana coast

Now they are saying that it may be impossible to clean up the oil in the Gulf Coast. The reason is that an aggressive cleanup effort may actually ruin the marshes and be worse than the oil spill is.

Some of the drastic ideas are setting the wetlands on fire and flooding areas to float the oil out of the area. Both of these ideas could cause major problems with the Gulf of Mexico wetlands. In fact, the best thing to do may be nothing. Nature will break down the oil spill on its own over time.

The latest news is that 50 miles of Louisiana shoreline already has oil on it. The BP oil spill is invading the shores of the Gulf Coast already. In fact, officials believe that oil would eventually be on the beaches from Texas all the way to Florida. Louisiana is expected to take the hardest hit from the massive oil slick.

Over time, weather and microbes will be able to break down most of the oil. However, by the time that happens, the oil will have poisoned plants and wildlife throughout the region. It would likely take months or even years for the oil to break down.

In the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the shores were cleaned using pressure hoses and rakes. However, the Gulf Coast shores are too fragile for those methods. In fact, it is highly likely that this oil disaster will at least cause short term losses of the marshes in the area. The damage is likely to exceed that of Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the marshes.

This is unbelievable, and it seems as if the news gets worse every day. I can’t believe there is an oil spill that can’t even be cleaned up. Louisiana is trying to build a huge sand berm to keep the oil from coming into the wetlands, but they are waiting on approval. Is that the answer? Who knows?

Source: MSNBC

Copyright: Kate James May 22, 2010

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