New Evidence Gulf Oil Disaster Killing Corals

Seven miles from the BP oil gusher, researchers have discovered new evidence of the disaster’s impact on Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem:

Scientists have found evidence of “dramatic” damage to deep-sea coral near the site of the Gulf oil disaster, with one biologist describing it as a shocking find that “slapped you in the face.” […]

The research team encountered an apparently “unhealthy” colony of Madrepora — a hard coral species — on November 2 at a depth of 1,400 meters. While some in the coral colony appeared normal, others were covered in a “brown material” and were producing “abundant mucous,” he said.

The scientists also encountered a community of soft corals nearby that also appeared to be affected. Extensive portions of the coral colonies were either recently dead or dying.

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