Environment: Deepwater oil disaster radically altered microbial communities on Gulf Coast beaches

Oil from BP’s failed Deepwater Horizon drill rig and the Macondo well spread across the ocean in May 2010. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.

Followup research will determine how long the impacts last

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Biologists said they were shocked by the dramatic changes they observed in microbial communities along Gulf of Mexico beaches after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

The study led by by scientists from University of New Hampshire’s Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, sampled sites around Dauphin Island, Ala., and Grand Isle, La., just after the Deepwater Horizon spill began but before oil reached the shore, then again several months later, in September 2010. Continue reading


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