Runoff from unusual snowfall in Alabama caused water temperatures in Mobile Bay to drop suddenly, possibly leading to stillbirths of baby dolphins, researchers say. Poisoning as a result last year's oil spill is another possible culprit.
Hurricane Alex (expected to be named) has churned up rough seas and powerful winds enough to halt oil-skimming operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters expect an active hurricane season, raising concern that a storm could push more of the BP oil spill ashore. The Gulf's biggest hurricanes are generally later in the season, however.
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill off the coast of Alaska, according to federal government estimates.
Blackhawk military helicopters began dropping sandbags along the Louisiana coastline Monday, as oil spill cleanup efforts continued.
What scientists know about how oil spills affect the environment is drawn from a range of past events, no two of which have been alike. Because the blowout occurred 5,000 feet below below the water surface, the Gulf oil spill is unchartered territory.
The large container meant to cap the leak that has caused a massive Gulf oil spill did not succeed this weekend. Meanwhile tar has begun washing ashore in Alabama.