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NWF finds lingering BP spill effects

April 3, 2013 at 7:16 AM

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- The maritime ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico is still feeling the effects of the 2010 oil spill, a report from the National Wildlife Federation said.

A federal court in New Orleans is examining issues related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A well below the Deepwater Horizon oil rig failed, causing an explosion on the rig, which caught fire and sink. The explosion killed 11 rig workers and led to the worst offshore incident of its kind in the industry's history.

The NWF said dolphin deaths in the region affected by the oil spill were elevated every month since the April 2010 accident. The environmental group cited a study from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that said the dolphin die-off was abnormal.

Sea turtles and coral colonies didn't fare any better in parts of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the spill, NWF found.

BP states that it's been working with state and federal agencies on gulf restoration projects. It set a goal of returning the environment to a baseline condition, "the condition it would be in if the Deepwater Horizon accident had not occurred."

The NWF report added that "climate change looms as a threat" to beaches, reproductive success and may lead to stronger hurricanes that destroy nesting habitats in the Gulf of Mexico.

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