What’s going on in the Gulf, one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010? What are the impacts to wildlife–in the air, on the land and in the sea? (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows).
Ornithologist John Fitzpatrick says, "The oil did not cause the catastrophic mortality of birds that we might have seen had the winds and tides carried oil into all the major islands where colonies of birds raise their young. Thousands of birds were heavily oiled, and we know now that probably tens of thousands more were affected by smaller amounts of oil that couldn’t be seen from a distance but were visible in the high-definition video footage acquired by the Lab’s video crews."
One good indication that the wound is finally healing: After receiving a second shipment of Louisiana seafood samples from producers at ABC-TV’s "Good Morning America," researchers at Texas Tech University again found no evidence of petroleum hydrocarbons.
Researcher Christopher W. Clark says, "Despite the proximity of the Gulf of Mexico to the coast, we have a very poor understanding of its marine life and ecosystem. In the ocean, one of the best ways to study whales and fishes is by listening for them–something that our Bioacoustics Research Program has been doing for more than 30 years. Last summer after the oil spill, our researchers worked with NOAA to deploy 21 underwater recording devices on the Gulf seafloor from Louisiana to South Florida."
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