Monday, May 25, 2015

GULF OIL SPILL - Still Killing Dolphins

"New science shows Gulf spill is still killing dolphins" PBS NewsHour 5/19/2015


SUMMARY:  More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins have died off the Gulf Coast since 2010, the year a massive Deepwater Horizon spill spewed millions of gallons of oil and chemicals.  A new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration examines why.  The NewsHour's William Brangham joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the findings.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now, the lasting impact of America’s biggest offshore oil spill.

It comes as officials are grappling with a new spill along the coast of Southern California near Santa Barbara.  It began yesterday when an onshore pipeline ruptured.  Slicks are now spanning a total of nine miles and the line was operating at full capacity when it broke.

Today, a new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looked at why dolphins died in such large numbers after the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010.  It was the strongest link yet to the spill and to the deaths of bottlenose dolphins.  More than 1,000 dolphins have died in the Gulf since 2010.

The spill lasted nearly three months, spewing millions of gallons of oil and chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico.

We get the latest from William Brangham, who weekend viewers will recognize, and he is now here with us as our newest NewsHour correspondent.

And we welcome you to the team, William.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  Thanks, Judy.  Great to be here.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, let’s talk about this, what researchers are saying.  What do they say these new studies show?

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  What they’re saying is that this has been the first definitive link where they can directly connect the death, this massive die-off of dolphins — as you mentioned, over 1,300 — I think it’s 1,200, 1,300 dolphins — linking those deaths directly with the oil spill.

I mean, scientists have been studying these dolphins for several years, ever since the spill occurred.  This is the first time they have said, we now know why they died and in such large numbers, and it’s because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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