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Impacts of BP oil spill continue

By BECKY GILLETTE

The National Wildlife Federation report, 9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Deepwater Horizon Disaster and How We Can Restore the Gulf of Mexico, includes these key findings:

*Nearly all of the populations of dolphins and whales in the oiled area were found to have demonstrable, quantifiable injuries.

*In the five years after the disaster, more than three-quarters of pregnant bottlenose dolphins in the oiled areas failed to give birth to a viable calf.

*Bottlenose dolphin populations in some places on the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts could ultimately decline by more than half.

*Nearly half of the rare Bryde’s whales in the Gulf were exposed to oil. As a result, the already-imperiled species could ultimately die out from the Gulf altogether.

*As many as 8.3 billion oysters were lost as a result of the oil spill and response effort. The dramatic reduction in oyster populations imperils the sustainability of the oyster fishery in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

*In 2010, the oil spill killed between two and five trillion larval fish.

*Significant numbers of threated Gulf sturgeon were exposed to oil. Studies indicate that these exposed fish suffered immune system dysfunction and damage to their DNA.

*The fate of as much as 30 percent of the oil remains unknown to this day.

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