Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Gulf is important to us all

I've been reading about the long-term environmental effects of the BP spill. Y'all realize we're all affected by this disaster, right? You like shrimp in yo' gumbo? Enjoy a dozen raw oysters? I read somewhere they found oil in crabs. So far, no known effects on the fish because they could swim away, but nobody knows for sure.

Let's not forget the marshes and the impact of the oil floating up against the grasses. Marshes slow the speed of hurricanes. Scientists are studying the bird population, in particular, the brown pelican, which had just come off the endangered species list.

Every year, the average amount of coastal land lost in Louisiana is four times the blast area of the Hiroshima bomb, said Alexander Kolker, an adjunct professor and research scientist at Tulane University. Ninety percent of U.S. coastal wetland loss has been in Louisiana, home of fisheries and thousands of migrating birds.

Beyond the immediate BP oil disaster, the long-term history of impact to Louisiana’s coastal zone is “turning out to be the more important story,” said Kolker, who teaches Earth and Environmental Sciences. This history includes previous oil spills, natural hydrocarbon seeps and a landscape that loses nearly 24 square miles of land every year.

You can help Be The One.

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