Five Years Later, Gulf Coast Wildlife Still Reeling from Deepwater Horizon Spill

posted: 04/01/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Turtle covered in oil

Although the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has faded from the headlines, a new report from the National Wildlife Foundation finds that local Gulf Coast wildlife are still suffering the long-term effects of the largest accidental marine oil spill in history.

"The science is clear that this is not over - and sea turtles, dolphins, fish, and birds are still suffering from the fallout. Holding BP fully accountable and using all fines and penalties to restore the Gulf of Mexico must be a national priority," remarked NWF president Collin O'Mara in a news release.

The 30-page report investigates the health of 20 different species native to the Gulf Coast, and the results are harrowing:

  • Oil exposure has caused developmental defects in yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi
  • Endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle nests are declining at a noticeable rate
  • The local laughing gull population is estimated to have decreased by 32% following the spill
  • Oil has been found in white pelican nests as far away as Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois
  • Spotted seatrout growth has been significantly stunted

A federal court case alleging violations of the Clean Water Act is currently pending against oil companies responsible for the spill. Per the RESTORE Act, 80% of civil penalties leveled against oil companies will be funneled back into Gulf communities to fund ongoing cleanup efforts.

Click here to read the full report from the National Wildlife Foundation


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