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Gulf Oil Spill Damaging Lives and Livelihoods


New Orleans, LA: As round-the-clock crisis management of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster continues in the Gulf of Mexico, experts are suggesting that efforts to clean-up one of the worst oil spills in history could go on for years. And the costs, both in environmental and human terms, could be unprecedented, as the environmental devastation could exceed that seen with the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

The deep water rig located off the coast of Venice, Louisiana, exploded on April 20th, and eventually sank on April 22nd. The cause of the explosion is not yet known. According to a report on CNN.com, the untapped wellhead has poured 1.6 million gallons of oil into the Gulf. All attempts to cap the well head have so far failed.

BP is reportedly spending an estimated $6 million per day on clean-up efforts, but the UK-based petroleum giant has started to try and shift some of the blame for the disaster to Transocean, the company that was running the rig at the time of the explosion.

In addition to the damage the fragile Louisiana wetlands will sustain, including flora, fauna and wildlife, hundreds, possibly thousands of people will suffer financial loss as a direct result of the damage to and destruction of the local fisheries. The Gulf fisheries are among the major suppliers of seafood to the mainland US, with the northern Gulf generating some 40 percent of domestic seafood product, and "95 percent of the species in the seafood harvest are dependent on the health of the nation's estuaries and marshes," CNN reports.

Additional damage may also extend to ocean front real estate, and more importantly people's health who live in the affected areas. As one environmentalist told CNN, "You're looking at a long-term poisoning of the area. Ultimately, this will have a multidecade impact."

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Published on May-3-10

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Gulf Oil Spill Damaging Lives and Livelihoods
Gulf Oil Spill Damaging Lives and Livelihoods
May 3, 2010
New Orleans, LA As round-the-clock crisis management of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster continues in the Gulf of Mexico, experts are suggesting that efforts to clean-up one of the worst oil spills in history could go on for years. And the costs, both in environmental and human terms, could be unprecedented, as the environmental devastation could exceed that seen with the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989 READ MORE
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