Coming Ashore – Thousands of Dead Fish, Young Sperm Whale, and More Oil

It’s going to be a long road to restoring the Gulf in the aftermath of the BP’s disaster, especially since the oil isn’t gone yet. Impacts from the disaster continue to be uncovered, and issues that existed in the Gulf before April 20, 2010 still persist.For the latest examples, let’s move west to east.Bayou Chaland, LA – A massive fish kill has left thousands of redfish, speckled trout, eels, stingray, crabs, and other species floating on the surface of Bayou Chaland. The photos are reminescent of a gravel road, but it’s all fish. Although the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries quickly blamed the fish kill on low amounts of dissolved oxygen in the water (the Dead Zone), it’s clear that more testing should be done to determine the role BP’s oil may have played in the huge die off. And even it f the culprit is low oxygen, that’s not much of a relief, and it reminds us of the work that must be done to reduce the Dead Zone.Near Southwest Pass, LA – In some of the saddest news we’ve had lately, a juvenile sperm whale was found dead. Low dissolved oxygen levels can’t explain this one away since whales don’t breath underwater. This is the second sperm whale found dead in BP’s impact zone, and the loss of a third could mean the end of the Gulf’s sprem whale population. Unfortunately, testing results from the first whale that was found almost three months ago have still not been released.Bayou La Batre, AL – Oil is still washing ashore in the fishing community of Bayou La Batre. Much of the oil is heavily weathered and hit with dispersants so it looks like thick peanut butter. After the first reports on the sludge was back yesterday. This time it was partially green, which prompted BP to say it’s just algae! Again, where is the independent testing?!?! Stay tuned to the impacts of BP’s disaster continue to surface, it’s clear that resources dedicated to long-term monitoring are needed to ensure BP is held responsible for its on-going impacts to the Gulf.

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