Researchers Say Gulf Still Reeling One Year After Spill

ORLANDO (2011-5-25) -

Scientists from almost every major public university in Florida are gathering in Orlando the next two days to discuss the impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. They're reporting that the spill is still affecting the Gulf.

The two-day conference is the first time scientists representing the 20 research institutions making up the Florida Institute of Oceanography have gathered to compare their findings. They're discussing the spill's impact on the Gulf's marine life, coral reefs, sediment and shoreline.

Even though it's been nearly a year since BP's well was finally plugged, many scientists say the Gulf continues to reel from its aftereffects. Here's what one researcher told the group:

"You're talking as if this episode is over," he said. "Where in fact if you fly over the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico now, you'll still see there's a lot of cleanup going on. Oil is still there, it's still on the beaches, it's still on the bottom, and now we're starting to get reports of lesions on fishes. Is this directly related to the spill? We don't know, but please don't talk as though this episode is over. It's still ongoing."

The conference is updating 27 research projects on the spill's impacts that were funded last year with $10 million provided by BP.

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