Gulf Floor Fouled by Bacterial Oil Feast

Patchy seafloor deposits are mix of microbial waste, oil and other remnants of clean-up effort.

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The federal government and state trustees can “hold the parties responsible for the [BP] spill fully accountable to restore, rehabilitate, replace or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and services injured by the oil spill,” Lubchenco notes. But the first step is identifying the harm, she says, which may depend on long-term monitoring of oil-hammered ecosystems.

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