Oceana Launches Expedition to Learn Long-Term Effects of Gulf Oil Spill
Photo via Southerntabitha via Flickr CC
As BP pushes hard to shift attention away from the spill itself and on to clean-up and wrap-up efforts, Oceana has launched an expedition that will study the long-term effects of the disaster on the Gulf's flora and fauna. Hopping aboard the 170-foot Oceana Latitude and using remotely operated vehicles, specialized divers and satellite tags, the team will investigate how the spill is impacting coral, fish, shark and other wildlife, as well as study how other parts of the coasts and oceans will be impacted if the oil makes its way into currents.
Starting in the Florida Keys and sailing into the Gulf, the scientists will document and analyze the magnitude of the spill, the degree of impact, and will also tag several species of sharks to monitor migration patterns and how well they avoid contaminated areas. The organization recognizes that while it's the stuff at the surface that gets public attention, it's the stuff below the surface that will determine the health of the ecosystems in decades to come.
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Xavier Pastor, vice president for Oceana Europe, states, "The Deepwater disaster is a horrible experiment on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. Oceana's expedition will help to answer important questions about what is happening under the water in the Gulf."
The expedition launched on Sunday, and reports will be released in the upcoming weeks from Oceana that will keep us all updated on their findings.
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