Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Gulf Coastline Littered with Tar Balls from BP Oil Spill

Energy

Restore the Mississippi River Delta

By Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund

In the wake of Hurricane Isaac, 12 miles of Louisiana coastline have been closed because of newly washed up tar balls. Though the oil still must be analyzed, many–including BP–say that these tar balls could be leftovers from the 2010 BP oil disaster. Tests confirm that the oil is from the 2010 BP spill.

At the same time, the Department of Justice has filed a memo blasting BP and underscoring the federal case that BP may be held grossly negligent in its handling of the Macondo well—a designation that could have tremendous impact on the amount of RESTORE Act dollars that flow back to the gulf.

How many more stories do we need to read about oil washing ashore before BP steps up to the plate and makes things right? How many more beaches need to be closed before BP stops stalling and makes the gulf whole again?

BP must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law for their carelessness. The Gulf Coast’s ecosystems and economies depend on it. BP also needs to reach a settlement as soon as possible. The sooner a settlement happens, the sooner restoration can begin.

Despite what BP might want you to believe in its advertisements, the Gulf Coast is still hurting. The gulf environment and the people and businesses that depend on it are still reeling from the effects of the spill. And while it will take years to understand the full extent of the spill’s damage, we do know that the oil continues to show up on beaches in the form of tar balls and mats, has severely impacted bird nesting habitat, has negatively affected endangered sea turtles, is probably at least partly responsible for a spate of dolphin deaths, sped marsh erosion in heavily impacted areas and that dispersants used to break up the oil have harmed plankton–a key link in the ocean’s food web.

The communities, businesses and wildlife of the Gulf Coast depend on a healthy environment for survival. Environmental restoration also provides economic restoration. By creating jobs and adding value throughout coastal economies, the same wetlands that protect coastal communities can also sustain them. The sooner a settlement can be reached, the sooner restoration funds can be made available and the sooner businesses and communities can get back on their feet and start recovering.

BP’s job in the gulf is not finished. It is time for BP to stop stalling and make the gulf whole again. For a region that has suffered so much, it’s the right thing to do.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLEAN WATER ACT and GULF OIL SPILL pages for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Harmful algal blooms, seen here at Ferril Lake in Denver, Colorado on June 30, 2016, are increasing in lakes and rivers across the U.S. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / Getty Images

During summer in central New York, residents often enjoy a refreshing dip in the region's peaceful lakes.

But sometimes swimming is off-limits because of algae blooms that can make people sick.

Read More Show Less
A group of doctors prepared to treat coronavirus patients in Brazil. SILVIO AVILA / AFP via Getty Images

More than 40 million doctors and nurses are in, and they are prescribing a green recovery from the economic devastation caused by the new coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte shake hands during an event to launch the United Nations' Climate Change conference, COP26, in central London on February 4, 2020. CHRIS J RATCLIFFE / POOL / AFP / Getty Images

The U.K. government has proposed delaying the annual international climate negotiations for a full year after its original date to November 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
The Upcycled Food Association announced on May 19 that they define upcycled foods as ones that "use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment." Minerva Studio / Getty Images

By Jared Kaufman

Upcycled food is now an officially defined term, which advocates say will encourage broader consumer and industry support for products that help reduce food waste. Upcycling—transforming ingredients that would have been wasted into edible food products—has been gaining ground in alternative food movements for several years but had never been officially defined.

Read More Show Less
A couple has a lunch under plexiglass protection designed by Christophe Gernigon at the H.A.N.D restaurant, on May 27, 2020 in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP via Getty Images

By Thomas A. Russo

As restaurants and bars reopen to the public, it's important to realize that eating out will increase your risk of exposure to the new coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
A Malinois dog is taught to find a piece of fabric infected with COVID-19 bacteria during a training session, on May 13, 2020, in France. JOEL SAGET / AFP / Getty Images

By Alexander Freund

In a pilot study at the University of Helsinki, dogs trained as medical diagnostic assistants were taught to recognize the previously unknown odor signature of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. And they learned with astonishing success: After only a few weeks, the first dogs were able to accurately distinguish urine samples from COVID-19 patients from urine samples of healthy individuals.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Locusts swarm over Jaipur, India on May 25, 2020. Vishal Bhatnagar / NurPhoto via Getty Images

India is facing its worst desert locust invasion in nearly 30 years, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More Show Less