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Impact from Deep Water Horizon spill felt in SWFL 10 years later

Over 200 million gallons of oil flooded the Gulf of Mexico nearly 10 years ago. Now, it looks like the spill is more damaging to the environment than originally thought.

Three grouper and a handful of snapper are a lot less than captain Kyle Harmon said he would have brought back a few years ago.

“Red tide’s been pretty rough,” Harmon said. “A lot of places that we use to fish aren’t near as productive as they used to be.”

Like red tide, our gulf’s waters have seen their share of catastrophic events, perhaps the worst in history when hundreds of millions of gallons of oil smothered marine life in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

New research is finding toxic oil may have reached waters close to Southwest Florida, like Tampa and the Florida Keys. A marine science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University worked in Louisiana for years after the spill. He told WINK News over the phone that he does not find the results of the study surprising.

Scientists said new technology allowed them to track toxic oil that satellite imagery could not see after the 2010 spill.

”When it came to the coast, it’s a different mechanism,” Dr. Puspa Adhikari said. “It doesn’t wither or it doesn’t decompose or degrade easily.”

Scientists said the oil is dissolving, but coastal areas have not fully recovered yet, now almost 10 years later.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
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