A picture is worth a thousand words.
I saw the photo to the right in this comprehensive piece focused on the BP spill aftermath by Julia Whitty. She references the work being done by our Emerald Coast chapter and points to the recent study on this subject, which is available here (pdf).
The photos makes me ill.
I was down in the Gulf region just after the spill, and it was clear there was something very wrong.
We saw Hazmat-suit wearing workers leaving the beach as the sun rose over the horizon. They had worked during the night and were leaving just as the tourists came over the sand dunes for a day at the beach.
The workers had worked hard and picked up what oil globs that could be seen by the naked eye (aided by a little extra UV light).
If it was safe for tourists, then why would workers have such protection?
If it wasn’t safe why weren’t the tourists being told that?
For those that haven’t been to the Gulf, the continental shelf is quite wide. I share this because one doesn’t just take a few steps into the ocean and swim like you do on the East Coast or the West Coast. It’s too shallow.
People, tourists, wade out 50 feet from shore and are still in extremely shallow water. People play frisbee, talk and spend hours in the Gulf cooling off from the southern heat.
It was clear then that Corexit was being used in very large quantities to get the oil off of the evening news. No visible oil, no story. It is estimated that between 800,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of Corexit was dumped into the Gulf to disperse the oil.