May 4th, 2010
The delicate ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and its coasts are home to a vast, diverse array of wildlife. Sperm whales, endangered sea turtles, bluefin tuna, bottlenose dolphins, delicate birds that live mostly hidden in marshes and barrier islands, migratory birds and even Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, are among the seemingly countless species that live, breed and nest in the gulf. Now, everyone is watching and waiting as the huge oil spill, caused by the rupture of a BP oil well two weeks ago and growing by at least 210,000 gallons of oil every day, drifts around in the gulf’s 600,000 square miles. The slick is contaminating deep waters and threatening the coasts in yet incalculable ways.