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    Posted July 18, 2011 by
    Destin, Florida

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    Scuba team discovers damage from BP oil spill in FL


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mamarazzi of Miramar Beach, Florida, says she is still seeing oil along her beach and got so tired of it that she invited a team of divers and researchers to come check it out last week. The team works for Ecorigs.org, a group of scientists and forensic divers in the Gulf. mamarazzi interviewed the divers and an oceanographer about what they found out about sea life on the ocean floor – they’re not seeing much of it these days. She paid the group gas money and put them up at her home, but did not pay for their services. They came on their own accord.

    As for how Forsyth's life has changed, here's what she had to say: 'I won't go into the water because I know the oil has been coming back very toxic. I won’t go in the water, I won't eat the seafood. We have a lot of dead sea life.'
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    During scuba assessments on July 12th 2011, the Florida panhandle shallow seafloor sediment shows signs of the possible presence of dispersed oil.

    A team of research divers scoured the Florida panhandle looking for signs of BP oil. What they did find was a desolate seafloor, with few signs of life. The sand should be tan or white and look like a desert floor with ripples and ridges of tan sand.

    Marine life should be attracted to the disturbance of bottom sediments, with small fish darting into the cloud of silt and crabs scurrying away to bury themselves in hiding.  Rays and starfish should be abundant. What they filmed was a scene of dark desolate bottom sediment where dark sediment ejected from the animal burrows sat in piles of contrasting colors. Could it be due to contamination from the BP oil spill?


    One of the divers who has been researching the DWH disaster for the past year was alarmed by the lack of living things in the northwest Florida waters.  Another diver, an environmental scientist, was shocked by the absence of bait fish during the 6 dives.  As the dives progressed from east to west, the sediment conditions deteriorated considerably.


    The sediment samples have been sent to a certified lab for chemical analysis and results will be back within a month. That's when we will know definitely what is lurking off the shores of the Florida panhandle.


    In the meantime, ask your local representatives why BP isn't doing this kind of research to assure safety for the children and animals along the Gulf coast.


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