Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oil Slick in Gulf Proves to be Unwieldy, Highly Damaging

The oil slick that has resulted from the burst underwater oil well in the Gulf has continued to elude cleanup crews and befuddle those studying methods of containing it. In marshes home to sensitive wildlife, the oil is destroying grasses and covering pelicans, with blobs of tar washing ashore in Alabama and the Florida panhandle, with an oily mass floating on top the Gulf west of Tampa. In Mississippi, little seems to have gone awry thus far, though tourism is down drastically. As it turns out, there isn’t just one large oil slick affecting the gulf, but many smaller ones.

Says Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, "We’re not longer dealing with a large, monolithic spill. We’re dealing with an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of patches of oil that are going a lot of different directions." And while official reports note that a BP containment cap is removing about one-third of the oil from the gusher, the effects of the spill will most definitely linger for many years to come.

Noted Darlene Kimball, who operates Kimball Seafood in Pass Christian, Mississippi, "Mississippi waters are open, and we’re catching shrimp." Despite that, her operation is being crushed by the mere appearance that things have gone awry. The perception around the nation is that seafood from the Gulf is unsafe. Noted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindhal, "The daily images of the oil is obviously having an impact. It’s having a heavy, real, very negative impact on our economy." Of course, if Jindhal expects that his comments will stem the television reporting of those images…well, good luck with that.