Commentary: BP's oil isn't visible but Gulf isn't out of danger

It comes as no surprise that a group of scientists who have long studied the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem have found that the BP oil spill further deepened its distress.

Dropping their average rating from 71 before the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history to 65 after might not seem like much of a change. But when you’re starting at 71 on a scale of 0-100, any drop is dangerous and deadly.

Polluted for years by farm runoff from the Mississippi River, overfishing, and oil from smaller spills and natural seepage, the Gulf region has long been buffeted by competing interests of fishing, tourism and of course, the almighty oil interests.

In an Associated Press article, Georgia researchers cite evidence that challenges government officials who questioned whether oil was even on the sea floor. Researchers on the ship Oceanus took 78 core sediment samples and found live worms in only five. Normally, all would have life, said University of Georgia scientist Samantha Joye. She called it a “graveyard for the macrofauna.”

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