Gulf oil spill recovery could cause more damage
Christopher B. Craft, the Janet Duey Professor in Rural Land Policy at IU Bloomington and past president of the Society of Wetland Scientists, said:
"They do things like pressure washing rocks and sand, and any kind of attached organisms get blown off. They may end up excavating sand off beaches. The marshes, which really dominate Louisiana coastline, are mostly vegetation, and cleanup there is really going to be problematic."
Oil from the massive leak in the Gulf of Mexico has started reaching coastal wetlands along the Louisiana coast and is expected to reach the shores of Mississippi and Alabama as well.
The IU professor has previously seen the effects of a major oil spill on a coastal region. He was involved in the restoration efforts necessary because of the Amoco Cadiz, a crude oil tanker that ran aground off the coast of Brittany, France in 1978. At that time, it was the largest oil spill ever.
It will take several years for affected Gulf Coast areas to be cleaned and recover and will depend on how much oil actually comes ashore.
"Nature will recover on its own, but in the absence of some human help, it will take a long time," he said.
Labels: oil spill