Gulf floor fouled by bacterial oil feast, ScienceNews, February 20, 2011:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco acknowledges that extensive sampling by her agency and its university partners “has shown that there is oil — residues or some kind of oil products — on the seafloor.”
To understand the impacts of the BP spill on the health of Gulf ecosystems, she said at a press briefing at the AAAS meeting, “we believe there needs to be a lot more monitoring on an ongoing basis.” But her agency probably won’t be spearheading it. “One of our current challenges,” Lubchenco says, “is that there is no obvious source of funding for that ongoing monitoring.”
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.
Read the report here.