"BP Oil Spill Hastened Loss of Louisiana Marshes, Study Says"

"The 2010 BP oil spill accelerated the loss of Louisiana’s delicate marshlands, which were already rapidly disappearing before the largest oil spill in U.S. history, a new study reports."

"As the oil washed into the marshlands, it coated and smothered thick grasses at their edge. When the grass died, deep roots that held the soil together also died, leaving the shore banks of the marshlands to crumble, said Brian Silliman, the University of Florida researcher who led the new study.

“We already knew that erosion leads to permanent marsh loss, and now we know that oil can exacerbate it,” Silliman said.

In Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, oiled marshes eroded at about twice the rate of non-oiled marshes, receding nearly 10 feet per year, Silliman’s team found."

Brian Vastag reports for the Washington Post June 25, 2012.

Source: Wash Post, 06/28/2012