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New evidence of BP oil spill effects revealed, links to dolphin deaths

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Today, two new developments linked BP oil from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to ongoing wildlife, habitat and economic impacts in Louisiana, said environmentalists from the National Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Environmental Defense Fund.

First, a new peer-reviewed scientific study published in Environmental Science & Technology by a team of government, academic and non-governmental researchers was released linking BP oil from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to dolphin deaths and illness in Barataria Bay, La. Barataria Bay was devastated by oil immediately following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and sinking which led to 11 lost lives in April of that year.

Additionally, an estimated 1.5 million pounds of what appears to be oily material have been recovered from the coast of Lafourche Parish recently.The dolphin study said that the health effects seen in the Barataria Bay dolphins are not only significant but also will likely lead to reduced survival and ability to reproduce.

The area from which the tar mats were collected stretches between Elmer’s Island—home to many types of birds, fish and other species—and Port Fourchon, La.

National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following joint statement today in response to this news:

Today’s tragic news of sustained oil-linked dolphin deaths and illness underscores the true state of the Gulf. Additionally, more tar mats full of BP oil have surfaced recently in Louisiana, as they have been doing consistently since the Gulf oil disaster began in April 2010.

BP saturates media markets with its pricey ads, but it can’t hide these truths. Instead of continuing the PR onslaught, BP should accept responsibility for all of the harmful impacts it has caused the Gulf’s ecosystems and economies, including long-term impacts that remain unknown. BP should pay up.

New evidence like this report on Louisiana dolphins and the ongoing discovery of millions of pounds of tar mats in Louisiana are a smoking gun showing that BP’s ads implying that clean-up is over and the Gulf is better than ever are simply not true. The Gulf is still waiting for the realization of restoration that it deserves. The Gulf is still waiting for BP to accept accountability and to make things right.

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