Shocking images reveal oil spill still stuck at the bottom of the Gulf

Monday, February 21, 2011

LONDON - A scientist has shown that oil from the BP spill still remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Samantha Joye, a professor at the University of Georgia, has video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor, reports the Daily Mail.

That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington, Joye, aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site.

She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then but it wasn’t.

In five different expeditions, the last one in December, Joye and colleagues took 250 cores of the sea floor and traveled across 2,600 square miles.

She said there was a noticeable change in some of the locations she had been studying before the oil spill on April 20.

Much of the oil she found on the sea floor and in the water column was chemically fingerprinted, proving it comes from the BP spill.

She also showed pictures of oil-choked bottom-dwelling creatures. They included dead crabs and brittle stars - starfish like critters that are normally bright orange and tightly wrapped around coral.

These brittle stars were pale, loose and dead. She also saw tube worms so full of oil they suffocated.

Joye said her research shows that the burning of oil left soot on the sea floor, which still had petroleum products.

Earlier this month, Kenneth Feinberg, the government’s oil compensation fund czar, said based on research he commissioned he figured the Gulf of Mexico would almost fully recover by 2012.

However, Joye said he was wrong.

“I’ve been to the bottom. I’ve seen what it looks like with my own eyes. It’s not going to be fine by 2012,” Joye told a foreign news agency. (ANI)

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