Even though BP Oil representatives have persistently tried to put down speculations of long-term environmental damage as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, almost a year ago, there is sufficient research that shows otherwise.
The BP Oil Spill disaster impaired the productivity and resources of the habitat and its ‘carrying capacity’, weakening its potential in meeting the needs of the region and impeding its ability to renew and restore own resources.
I wrote about it here when it happened a year ago.
The delayed emergency response and the long-drawn-out cleanup have contributed to a virulent state of the region, which some critics called hopeless. The delicate Gulf ecosystem was devastated and entire chains of perfectly symbiotic habitats disrupted.
The injuries that the region is already facing and will be facing in the future may include direct impact on food stocks and fisheries, their economic and tourism losses due to environmental constraints such as contamination and pollution of waterways and land, and the many changes of policies as a result.
The cleanup was only an immediate solution, the true impact is seen and felt only after the emergency steps have been implemented, so in the long run, the spilled oil may produce oxidized compounds which increase dissolution, dispersion, emulsification and formation of tar, contributing tot he toxic exposure for the ecosystem.
The extent of it will be only visible when the damages can be measured and recorded, however it has already been almost a year since the event and the ecological schism may already manifest itself. At the rate the oil is breaking down, some of it could still be there a century from now!