Study links BP oil spill to coral damage in a new location
NEW ORLEANS - A new study reveals that toxins from BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico damaged coral in a larger arc than previously mapped after researchers discovered sick and dying corals in the Pinnacles, a rich, deep-water environment off the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi.
Using remotely operated submarines, researchers explored the Pinnacle Reef in September 2011 and found more than 400 coral colonies were injured. Corals - such as sea whips, sea fans and black corals - were covered in a biofilm. Some showed severe damage, such as bare skeletons and missing branches.
The study was conducted by a team of Florida State University and federal scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The study is set to be published in Deep-Sea Research, an oceanography journal.