The Oil and the Turtles, Vanity Fair, September 21, 2010:
The official marine-life casualty numbers, [Ed Clark, the president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia] maintains, are grossly underestimated. “If they’re saying 400 turtles were killed, I’d bet my house it’s more like 4,000,” he says.
“BP is responsible for the damages”—up to $50,000 per turtle, as per the Endangered Species Act—“but it is incumbent on the government to prove what [the damages] are,” says Clark. He has heard rumors that the cleanup crews on Grand Isle, Louisiana, which are mainly made up of prisoners, were bagging dead turtles and birds in plastic bags marked for incineration because no one from Fish and Wildlife responded to their calls.