Report: up to 79% of oil released into Gulf of Mexico from Deepwater Horizon well has not been recovered

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 17, 2010

Follow up to postings on the Gulf Coast oil spill, this Outcome/Guidance from Georgia Sea Grant Program: Current Status of BP Oil Spill by Chuck Hopkinson, Director, Georgia Sea Grant, August 17, 2010 – “On August 2, 2010, the National Incident Command (NIC) released a report on the status of oil from the BP oil spill. The findings of the report are being widely reported in the news media as suggesting that 75% of the oil is “gone” and only 25% remains. However, many independent scientists are interpreting the findings differently, with some suggesting that less than 10% is “gone” and up to 90% remains a threat to the ecosystem. Considering the vulnerability of the southeast Atlantic coast to oil being carried our way by the Gulf Stream, it is critical that we determine which of these interpretations of the report is more accurate. To address this issue, Georgia Sea Grant organized an ad hoc group of university-based oceanographic experts from within the state to independently evaluate and interpret the conclusions of the NIC report. This group determined that the media interpretation of the report’s findings has been largely inaccurate and misleading. Oil that the NIC report categorizes as Evaporated or Dissolved, Naturally Dispersed and Chemically Dispersed has been widely interpreted by the media to mean “gone” and no longer a threat to the ecosystem. However, this group believes that most of the dissolved and dispersed forms of oil are still present and not necessarily harmless.”

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