One year after the catastrophic oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are optimistic that things are moving toward a state of normalcy, although there is still much work to be done. More than thirty scientists have graded the health situation in the Gulf with an average rate of 68%, using a 1-100 scale gradient, which is an improvement from last October when the rating was 65%.
Still, there is cause for concern. The sea floor is an important health indicator and the mysterious deaths of hundreds of sea creatures, particularly young dolphins and turtles on the sea floor, represent a disturbing consequence, the origins of which need to be further examined.
The Gulf of Mexico holds many secrets below its pristine surface. Potentially enormous problems persist deep below in remote marshes and in the lethargic food chain. The complete story may not be known for many years to come.
The good news is that there is no question that the Gulf of Mexico is much better than anyone ever expected it to be one year after the devastating oil spill, but it is premature to assume that everything is fine. Wes Tunnell of Texas A&M University is the author of a scientific advisory report, which is slated to award money to both businesses and residents affected by the oil spill. Before the spill, he graded the overall health of the Gulf at 70. Today, he gives it a 69.
In the case of the Gulf of Mexico, there is an elephant in the room but it is still too dark to see until all the lights are turned on. Still, things are on the mend and that is always a good thing.