Predictions of 'Obama's Katrina,' millions of fish belly up on beaches, and an end to deep-water drilling all came to naught. High gasoline prices now seem more pressing to Americans than the Deepwater Horizon disaster that led to Gulf oil spill.
A year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion triggered the mammoth Gulf oil spill, fishermen, hotel owners, and oil workers in Grand Isle, La., aren't sure if the old nature-oil balance can be regained.
Since BP capped its ruptured well, the Gulf oil spill has shrunk dramatically. The Gulf itself is breaking down the oil at top speed, but past spills indicate the effects could linger for decades.
Like a giant industrial strength washing machine, the Gulf of Mexico will clean up most of the BP oil spill by itself, as it has other big spills. But environmental resilience has its limits.
The oil spill puts Louisiana's brown pelican at particular risk because it dives beneath the water's surface to forage.