A thick layer of oil bearing the chemical signature of the BP Deepwater Horizon blow-out covers thousands of square miles of sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a federal report.
On a research vessel expedition, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of South Florida found high levels of toxins in a deadly blanket of oil on the sea floor measuring several centimeters thick. Scientists said all the microorganisms and worms in the sediment were dead.
Using tests called biomarkers, University of South Florida oceanographer David Hollander traced the damage to the BP oil spill. Hollander said the chemical signatures are identical.
EPA whistleblowers, warned about the dangers of BP’s extensive use of the chemical dispersant Corexit. Their reports claimed sinking the spilled oil was more deadly than removing it from the surface.
Scientists fear disruption to the food chain could be significant. Fish and other marine life that depended on the worms and other microorganisms to survive may also die if they are unable to find other food sources.
Although BP and the EPA claimed the oil spill dispersant Corexit, was ‘as harmless as dish soap,’ on June 23rd, 2010, the US Coast Guard confirmed the death of two members of the cleanup crew who had been overcome by exposure to BP’s chemical dispersant.