This layer of oil uncovered by USF geologists illustrates the complexity of cleaning oil off our beaches. The dynamic movement of sand on beaches has covered the oil with a 6-8 inch layer of sand. If the clean up crews only look at the surface of the beach when cleaning the oil how much will they miss? What is the ecological impact to the important animals that use the beach? How will this effect nesting sea turtles? And how long before this layer gets exposed again?
As we learned from the lasting ecological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one thing is certain. We will be addressing these impacts for decades to come.