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BP oil spill still affecting Gulf of Mexico wildlife four years later

The BP oil spill is still adversely affecting the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, even four years later
The BP oil spill is still adversely affecting the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, even four years later
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

It has been four years since the BP oil spill. The oil spill is still affecting 14 different species in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the report from the National Wildlife Foundation. These species are: bottlenose dolphins, red snapper, blue crab, Atlantic Bluefin tuna, gulf killifish, sperm whales, sea turtles, white pelicans, seaside sparrows, eastern oysters, coral, common loon, brown pelicans and small marine creatures called foraminifera. Each species has shown an increase in mortality or birth defects, in connection with the oil spill.

The bottlenose dolphins have really been affected by the BP oil spill. Since the oil spill in 2010, more than 900 bottlenose dolphins have been found dead. In 2013, three times the normal rate of these dolphins were found dead. Scientists are currently investigating how the oil spill is still affecting these dolphins, who have been having lung and immune system problems. There are so many other species of wildlife that are suffering.

An estimated 500 sea turtles have been found dead over the last three years, which is way over the normal rate of death for these animals. Loons, which come to the Louisiana coast for the winter, have been found to have toxic oil compounds in their blood. According to Doug Inkley, who is the senior scientist for NWF,

"The oil is not gone. There is oil on the bottom of the gulf, oil washing up on the beach and there is oil in the marshes.These are top-level species that are in trouble," Inkley said. "When you see sick dolphins like we do in Barataria Bay that tells you there is a problem and it needs to be examined even further."

NWF scientists say that it could take years before we see the full effect of the oil spill on all the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the research that is being conducted on how the oil spill has affected the wildlife and marsh lands will be used as evidence to help set a price for BP to pay to help restore the Gulf.

However, BP has released a statement dismissing the research and report by NWF, saying that the report is "political advocacy" instead of science.