Cleaning Oil from Gulf Marshlands Could Prove Impossible

"NEW ORLEANS -- The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said.

Officials are considering some drastic and risky solutions: They could set the wetlands on fire or flood areas in hopes of floating out the oil.

But they warn that an aggressive cleanup could ruin the marshes and do more harm than good. The only viable option for many affected areas is to do nothing and let nature break down the spill.

More than 50 miles of Louisiana’s delicate shoreline already have been soiled by the massive slick unleashed after BP’s Deepwater Horizon burned and sank last month. Officials fear oil eventually could invade wetlands and beaches from Texas to Florida. Louisiana is expected to be hit hardest."

Matthew Brown reports for the Associated Press May 23, 2010.

See Also:

"Attorney General Buddy Caldwell Tells Corps of Engineers State Has Emergency Powers To Build Barrier Islands" (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

"La. Won't Wait for Federal OK To Erect Sand Berms" (AP)

"Louisiana Coast's Battle Against Drifting Oil Expected To Last Months, If Not Years" (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

"Current Could Carry Disaster To Fragile Reef" (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

"More Oyster Areas Closed" (Los Angeles Times)

Source: AP, 05/24/2010