From the St. Petersburg Times, via Mother Jones:
A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf. The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:
“I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil,” USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF’s public announcement, he said, comparing it to being “beat up” by federal officials.
And…though blogs and independent sources of news have been reporting on this for a number of days, it finally makes it to AP…congratulations, boys!
There’s another extremely important piece out today, wherein the Associated Press documents how oil is already finding its way into the food web. Scientists are finding traces of oil in crab larvae: The government said last week that three-quarters of the spilled oil has been removed or naturally dissipated from the water. But the crab larvae discovery was an ominous sign that crude had already infiltrated the Gulf’s vast food web — and could affect it for years to come.
“It would suggest the oil has reached a position where it can start moving up the food chain instead of just hanging in the water,” said Bob Thomas, a biologist at Loyola University in New Orleans. “Something likely will eat those oiled larvae … and then that animal will be eaten by something bigger and so on.” This, of course, does not help efforts to convince the public that seafood from the region is safe. Not does it help in promoting the idea that the oil is less of a threat because we can’t see it, as the government and BP have been busy doing for the past week.
I feel warm inside knowing everybody is playing it straight in the Gulf of Mexico. The FDA, the EPA, the NOAA…all best of friends and working hand-in-hand with British Petroleum to make sure everything is handled – correctly, safely and with no misinformation, for the good of the Gulf and the people who live there.
Have a nice day.