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Posted Tue Jul 20 2010: from Wall Street Journal:
Fresh Water Aimed at Oil Kills Oysters
Oysters are dying in their beds in the brackish marshes of southern Louisiana, but the culprit isn't oil spilling from the Gulf. It is, at least in part, fresh water. In April, soon after the oil spill started, Louisiana officials started opening gates along the levees of the Mississippi River, letting massive amounts of river water pour through man-made channels and into coastal marshes. It was a gambit--similar to opening a fire hose--to keep the encroaching oil at bay. By most accounts, the strategy succeeded in minimizing the amount of oil that entered the fertile and lucrative estuaries. But oyster farmers and scientists say it appears to have had one major side effect: the deaths of large numbers of oysters, water-filterers whose simplicity and sensitivity makes them early indicators of environmental influences that ultimately could hit other marsh dwellers too.
[Read more stories about: contamination, massive die-off, oil issues, unintended consequences, toxic leak]
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