"If I had a nickel for everything about this spill that’s never been seen before... A lot of unusual things are going to be happening." - Gulf Coast marine biologist Monty Graham
Reporter Ben Raines with another interesting article for today's Press-Register.
Since July, "Heavy sheen and persistent clouds of dingy brown water washing up in pockets" from the Perdido Pass near Pensacola, Florida to Mississippi is staining the white sand. A recent snorkeling trip along Fort Morgan found the bottom just offshore covered in a fine layer of brown residue," Raines reports. (A photo of the brown residue on the seafloor can be seen in the Press-Register.)
According to the report, Louisiana State University Professor Emeritus Ed Overton said, "The residue is not oil."
Overton added, "It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s got some hydrocarbons in it, but it does not match the oil from the Deepwater Horizon... I would call it the biological products that result when microbes degrade oil. That’s a guess on my part... It’s some sort of new product coming out of the biological process. I think it is related to the oil, but it is not the oil. That's my guess... This stuff is similar to the oils associated with seaweed or the plant privet."
However, Monty Graham, a marine biologist with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab told the Press-Register, "The microbes take what they can, then just leave the parts they can’t eat. That’s likely happening out there on a microscopic level. I’d speculate that’s what we are seeing... If I had a nickel for everything about this spill that’s never been seen before... I think that is going to continue to be the case. A lot of unusual things are going to be happening.”
Or is it a mystery? The National Resources Defense Council's Switchboard reported August 20:
Gulf Shores commercial fisherman Raymond Vates told the audience he recently decided to take his scuba gear and go down to the shallow bottom of the seabed off the beach and look around for himself. What he saw appalled him. He says he saw giant pools of oily tar balls on the muddy bottom in just 20 feet of water, some as big as watermelons.
“I called BP about this but they didn’t want to hear it,” Vates said. “How could you act that way when you saw what I saw? There were kids swimming in the water around there. We can’t allow this to go on.”
The parents of the children swimming around the "giant pools of oily tar balls on the muddy bottom in just 20 feet of water, some as big as watermelons" should watch this video:
Oil in the Gulf is “VERY RESISTANT to further biodegradation” — “Full toxic form for decades” according to multiple scientists testifying at the August 19 Congressional oil spill hearings.