So how exactly is the Gulf of Mexico after the worst oil spill in human history?
According to the National Geographic:

A spill that started with the tragic loss of life soon wrought major environmental devastation over huge region of the Gulf. Disturbing images appeared daily of oiled wildlife, iridescent surface slicks, overwhelmed cleanup workers, fouled beaches, burning oil fires, and blackened wetlands.

The damage from nearly five million barrels of oil was very real, yet many expert predictions missed their marks. Hurricanes didn’t drive enormous quantities of oil ashore, giant dead zones didn’t materialize, and oil didn’t round the tip of Florida to rocket up the East Coast via the Gulf Stream. Fisheries now appear poised to rebound instead of suffering the barren years or decades some feared. And Mother Nature had her own surprises in store, showcasing an ability to fight back against the spill and, later, to bounce back from the damage—at least in the short-term.

However, uncertainty still reigns among those trying to come to grips with the spill’s ultimate legacy. Even the final fate of all that oil is a matter of some debate—though the gooey crude still clings to some shorelines, where it will be visible for years to come.

Costa Concordia: An Ecological Disaster?

Even as the search continues for any further survivors of the Costa Concordia accident, questions are being asked about the potential environmental impact.
We have a big ship with tanks full of fuel, aground on an island in a sea fringed with natural protected areas. So the worst case scenario is pretty bad.
Elena Moutier, a scientific consultant working at the park, told BBC News that an oil spill there would be a disaster. ”The Maremma Park is one of the most important regional parks in Italy, for the landscape, the ecosystem and the richness in endemic species of plants and animals,” she said.
However, all of this is in the realms of the potential, not the actual. As far as we are aware- and sources including the salvage company Smit and environmental group WWF concur- there has been no fuel spillage so far.
The big risk in the meantime would be if the vessel began breaking up. However, during a news conference on Tuesday morning, contractors were optimistic that it would not.

A map of the protected areas surrounding the location of the shipwreck:

Costa Concordia: An Ecological Disaster?

Even as the search continues for any further survivors of the Costa Concordia accident, questions are being asked about the potential environmental impact.

We have a big ship with tanks full of fuel, aground on an island in a sea fringed with natural protected areas. So the worst case scenario is pretty bad.

Elena Moutier, a scientific consultant working at the park, told BBC News that an oil spill there would be a disaster. ”The Maremma Park is one of the most important regional parks in Italy, for the landscape, the ecosystem and the richness in endemic species of plants and animals,” she said.

However, all of this is in the realms of the potential, not the actual. As far as we are aware- and sources including the salvage company Smit and environmental group WWF concur- there has been no fuel spillage so far.

The big risk in the meantime would be if the vessel began breaking up. However, during a news conference on Tuesday morning, contractors were optimistic that it would not.

A map of the protected areas surrounding the location of the shipwreck:

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