August 17th, 2010
11:59 AM ET

Scientists: Toxic organisms, oil found on Gulf floor

John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic.

It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.

Paul is a marine microbiologist with the University of South Florida. He and 13 other researchers were in the middle of a 10-day research mission that began August 6 in the Gulf of Mexico when they made the toxic discovery.

The researchers battled 12-foot waves and storms but returned to St. Petersburg, Florida Monday night.

We were there as the team pulled its research materials into the lab and got the first report back of their initial findings.

The researchers found micro-droplets of oil scattered across the ocean floor and they also found those droplets moving up through a part of the Gulf called the DeSoto Canyon, a channel which funnels water and nutrients into the popular commercial and recreational waters along the Florida Gulf Coast.
The scientists say even though it's getting harder to see the oil the Gulf is still not safe.

"This whole concept of submerged oil and the application of dispersants in the subsurface and what are the impacts that it could have, have changed the paradigm of what an oil spill is from a 2-dimensional surface disaster to a 3-dimensional catastrophe," said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer and one of the lead scientists on the recent USF mission.

Reports focus on lingering effects of Gulf Oil spill

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Cyg

    This is what happens when you dump crap into the water. Never ever trust an oil man to do the right thing for anyone but his wallet.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. domtry

    If shrimp in the Gulf is not safe? Would you trust shrimp from Thailand or Vietnam? I wouldn't!!

    August 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Oily

    Wanna bet these guys using the dispersant knew that this would happen and actually did it on purpose?

    August 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ed

    So much for the staged swim in the Gulf by our President. To everyone who kept saying it was over......you couldn't have been more wrong!!! This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. zizewitz

    I am posting again, even if do not like my English punctuation!!

    As for the missing oil, there is no consensus how much oil was ejected, and there is no reliable way to measure it.

    So, the estimates (mainly inventions!) were done by the same pseudo-scientists which say anything to maintain the issue alive and predict doom, selling for good dollars their articles and opinions to the media.

    By the way: many of these scientists are foreign educated and speak English, if at all, worse than I So Ms. ENGLISH would ban them!!

    August 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomKas

      zizewitz, I for one value your input as much more valuable that proper grammar. Some just don't understand that concept. You are right, it's all for show and to generate money. It's terrible that the American people fall for these tactics.

      August 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Meanwhile, BP, with the apparent blessing of "President" Obama, is forcing Gulf fishermen to sign waivers releasing them from all liability when someone gets sick from eating contaminated seafood, while at the same time telling the fishermen they will no longer be compensated for lost income if they refuse to sign the waivers.

    Another story CNN might want to look into. Or, not.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JRC903

    What I can not understand Is how Republicans decide what to say next? As I recall, when this thing happened, they said "not to worry-it will clean itself up".... no one else agreed.. Now-that many have shifted to believing that things are improving--they now claim it is a damn mess and it will never be right? I

    August 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laguest

    did people actually think you can let ~25 million gallons (at least) of oil gush into the gulf while adding dispersant to it and expect it to disappear?

    And do you think that there'd be enough bacteria to handle that amount of oil...and without consequences?

    This is not a cartoon, people. This is not a movie with a typical, happy - everything's fine now and everybody is safe - Hollywood ending. This is a reality.

    Facts:

    a FRACTION of the whole of this "spilled" oil made it to the surface.
    what made it to the surface either was evaporated, skimmed, or found it's way to some shore.

    the MAJORITY of it was dispersed, causing it to dilate and fill the water column where nobody could see it. [read this sentence again and let it sink in]

    By the way, I work in the oil industry.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. EDWIN RANJBAR

    True maybe only a fraction made it to the surface, but remeber, that the olil and d its pollutants went everywhere! We must think about the whole picture, nit just what we see now. Read about how these scientist are concerning themselves with the future of the Enviromental impact. It will take years to actually see the true effects of this disaster.
    I wonder how the gulf states fishing industry is going to be effected by this!

    It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.

    Paul is a marine microbiologist with the University of South Florida. Edwin Ranjbar, He and 13 other researchers were in the middle of a 10-day research mission that began August 6 in the Gulf of Mexico when they made the toxic discovery.

    The researchers battled 12-foot waves and storms but returned to St. Petersburg, Florida Monday night.

    We were there as the team pulled its research materials into the lab and got the first report back of their initial findings.

    The researchers found micro-droplets of oil scattered across the ocean floor and they also found those droplets moving up through a part of the Gulf called the DeSoto Canyon, a channel which funnels water and nutrients into the popular commercial and recreational waters along the Florida Gulf Coast.
    The scientists say even though it's getting harder to see the oil the Gulf is still not safe.

    "This whole concept of submerged oil and the application of dispersants in the subsurface and what are the impacts that it could have, have changed the paradigm of what an oil spill is from a 2-dimensional surface disaster to a 3-dimensional catastrophe," said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer and one of the lead scientists on the recent USF mission.

    Reports focus on lingering effects of Gulf Oil spill
    Post by: CNN's Ed Lavandera
    Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Gulf Coast Oil Spill environment • Latest news

    August 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. UScitizen

    Didn't the president and daughters just swim there? I hope the test results in 10 years are okay.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Who is BP and GOV kidding it's there!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dee Wes

    This is what the people of the gulf have been trying to say finally CNN reports this in a bigger fashion.
    please help the gulf people .. and support the protests and let america be heard .. join the spillintowashington.org
    site and become a part of history. It took many protests to stop the viet nam war. We are now saying its time to take
    back our waters and control our country for the people by the people.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 100 percent USDA approved

    It's just like the twin towers – the government will lie just to get the economy back, and fight them when there is proof it was all toxic. I will never eat a fish again for years. These things swim and are eaten by other fish. BP did this and needs to pay the ultimate price – receivership. The government needs to be overhauled as well. I hope there are reporters right behind the government testers who send the fish they say are safe to an independent lab. I will bet a dollar against a pulizer prize someone will have a huge story.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Liz

    Thank heavens the scientists/educators aren't being manipulated by BP and are reporting the truth. John Paul and the other professors aren't leaving their ethics by the wayside. Talk about a governmental cover-up. Kudos to USF!

    August 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patriot

    The US has the ability to reduce our use of oil – and our imports of oil – very significantly. Reducing our imports of oil would help our trade deficit, increase american jobs (we would produce the energy domestically via wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro, better batteries, etc), and decrease the amount of money we send to countries that hate us. I am a Republican and a veteran and I cant understand why this is not obvious to more people who say they love this country.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
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