Monday, March 30, 2015

Nature's Keystone XL.. in reverse

The National Wildlife Federation has a new report out on the ecological damage of the BP oil disaster.  To put it briefly, it's probably very bad.  But we're going to learn about how bad it is over the course of decades, so no one will actually notice.  But even now they're finding it's more widespread than you might think.
Muth said he and other federation officials visited Cat Island in Barataria Bay last week and found the mangroves that had been used as a rookery by pelicans and other birds before the spill were almost all dead and not being used by the birds.

The island itself is eroding, which Muth said was exacerbated by its being washed over with oil during the spill, and remaining birds have moved to other smaller islands nearby. The island's erosion is just one of a number of locations in Louisiana's wetlands where oil or the cleanup of oil has speeded up the erosion of wetlands, he said.

The report also cited studies that found oil and dispersant compounds in the eggs of white pelicans nesting in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, raising concerns about reproduction of the pelicans.

"Scientists made this discovery at Marsh Lake (in Minnesota), which is home to the largest colony of white pelicans in North America," the report said. "Petroleum compounds were present in 90 percent of the first batch of eggs tested. Nearly 80 percent of the eggs contained the chemical dispersant used during the Gulf oil spill."

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