This news item from National Geographic (ironically sponsored by an oil company) reveals the sad truth about the long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill:
During the Gulf War, the Iraqi military intentionally spilled up to 336 million gallons (about 1.3 billion liters) of oil into the Persian Gulf (map) to slow U.S. troop advances, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Hayes was part of a team that later studied the environmental impacts of the spill, which impacted about 500 miles (800 kilometers) of Saudi Arabian coastline.
The scientists discovered a “tremendous” amount of oiled sediment remained on the Saudi coast 12 years after the spill—about 3 million cubic feet (856,000 cubic meters).
Also of interest is this article about the lasting damage in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster:
The oil—which has been detected as far as 450 miles (724 kilometers) away from the spill site in Prince William Sound—continues to harm wildlife and the livelihoods of local people, according to conservation groups.
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In its first toxic sweep, the oil spill killed about 250,000 seabirds, 4,000 sea otters, 250 bald eagles, and more than 20 orca whales, according to WWF.
Today, one of the orca pods that lost family members has not recovered.
Sea otters and harlequin ducks continue to die by digging into the sand for food and releasing buried oil.