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John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic.
It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.
The researchers found micro-droplets of oil scattered across the ocean floor and they also found those droplets moving up through a part of the Gulf called the DeSoto Canyon, a channel which funnels water and nutrients into the popular commercial and recreational waters along the Florida Gulf Coast.
The scientists say even though it's getting harder to see the oil the Gulf is still not safe.
TextThe rampant use of toxic dispersants, out-of-state private contractors being brought in to spray them and US Coast Guard complicity are common stories now in the four states most affected by BP's Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Commercial and charter fishermen, residents and members of BP's Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have spoken with Truthout about their witnessing all of these incidents.
Toxic Dispersants Found on Recently Opened Mississippi Shrimping and Oyster Grounds
On Monday, August 9, the Director of the State of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Bill Walker, despite ongoing reports of tar balls, oil and dispersants being found in Mississippi waters, declared, "there should be no new threats" and issued an order for all local coast governments to halt ongoing oil disaster work being funded by BP money that was granted to the state.
BP had allocated $25 million to Mississippi for local government disaster work. As of August 9, Walker estimated that only about $500,000 worth of invoices for oil response work had been submitted to the state. Nobody knows what the rest of the money will be used for.
Recent days in Mississippi waters found fishermen and scientists finding oil in Garden Pond on Horn Island, massive fish kills near Cat Island, "black water" in Mississippi Sound and submerged oil in Pass Christian.