Friday, May 21, 2010

Gulf oil spill plume to cause dead zones for Florida animals, wildlife

May 20, 2:28 PM
Maryann Tobin, Louisville

Scientists are deeply concerned about a massive oil plume which has been picked up by the Gulf current, and is expected to reach Florida within 10 days. The path will take the plume past the waters off Tampa Bay. It is predicted to cause massive dead zones where nothing can survive.

Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th, 2010, estimates vary on just how much oil, gas and chemicals have been dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. Worst case scenario's put the total at more than 100 million gallons, and the leak has still not been stopped.

More than 45 thousand square miles of fishing waters have been closed since the onset of the BP disaster a month ago. In that time, the corpses of dolphins, turtles, birds and fish have washed up on Gulf coast shores.

BP Managing Director Bob Dudley admitted that the oil spill has “hurt Florida.” However, he played-down the deadly consequences to the animals that call the oily water home.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) called it “A man made disaster made by BP,” in an MSNBC interview today.

Dolphins often spotted off the shores of Tampa Bay feed in deeper Gulf waters. The oil and chemicals that threaten to form dead zones may cause the intelligent, social mammals to die of starvation or poisoning. (Editor's bold emphasis throughout)