It is incredibly hard to put into words the absolute horror that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now. The millions of gallons of oil that have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico and BP's efforts to fight the massive leak are turning the Gulf into a lifeless toxic stew of oil and chemicals. The damage caused to wildlife in the Gulf by this spill will be incalculable. Entire species are at risk of being wiped out. Scientists are telling us that the primary dispersant being used by BP ruptures red blood cells and causes fish to bleed. This is by far the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight. It is a worse environmental and economic disaster than all of the hurricanes of the past ten years combined. The great wetlands and beaches along the Gulf of Mexico will never be the same in our lifetimes. The seafood and tourism industries in the Gulf are being completely destroyed. The thousands of jobs and businesses being wiped out by this disaster could potentially throw the entire Gulf coast region into a depression. The damage already caused by this oil spill is beyond measure and yet the government tells us that up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil a day continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Federal officials have expanded the "no fishing" area in the Gulf of Mexico to 75,920 square miles. That is 31 percent of all federal waters in the Gulf. As the oil continues to spread out there may soon be nowhere to fish.
And the oil is starting to come ashore in more places. Red-brown oil was found on Alabama's Dauphin Island on Tuesday. As Gulf coast residents slowly watch this oil destroy everything around them they are starting to realize that this is it.
Life along the Gulf of Mexico will simply never be the same again.
The following are 30 shocking quotes about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that reveal the soul-crushing horror this disaster is causing....
#1) Councilman Jay LaFont of Grand Isle, Louisiana:
"As long as you have something to look forward to, a little glimmer of hope, you can move on. But this just drained everything out of us."
#2) Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish:
"They said the black oil wouldn’t come ashore. Well, it is ashore. It’s here to stay and it’s going to keep coming."
#3) Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist:
"Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that."
#4) Marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute on BP's use of chemical dispersants:
"They've been used at such a high volume that it's unprecedented. The worst of these – Corexit 9527 – is the one they've been using most. That ruptures red blood cells and causes fish to bleed. With 800,000 gallons of this, we can only imagine the death that will be caused."
#5) Dr. Larry McKinney, director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Texas:
"Bluefin tuna spawn just south of the oil spill and they spawn only in the Gulf. If they were to go through the area at a critical time, that's one instance where a plume could destroy a whole species."
#6) Carol Browner, Barack Obama's adviser on energy and climate:
"This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we have ever faced in this country. It is certainly the biggest oil spill and we are responding with the biggest environmental response."
"It is so big and expanding so fast that it's pretty much beyond human response that can be effective. ... You're looking at a long-term poisoning of the area. Ultimately, this will have a multidecade impact."
#8) Reverand Mike Tran:
#9) Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club:
"This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it."
#10) Dean Blanchard, owner of a seafood business:
"I hold Obama responsible for not making BP stand up and look at the people in the face and fix it."
#11) Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:
"The day that we’ve been fearing is upon us."
#12) Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, about BP CEO Tony Hayward:
"We ought to take him offshore and dunk him 10 feet underwater and pull him up and ask him 'What's that all over your face?"
#13) Former Clinton adviser James Carville:
"The country feels like it's entitled to abuse this state and forget about us, and we are sick of it."
"A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts."
"I have no confidence whatsoever in BP . I think that they do not know what they are doing."
#16) Gulf coast resident Marie Michel:
#17) Brenda Prosser of Mobile, Alabama:
"I just started crying. I couldn't quit crying. I'm shaking now. To know that our beach may be black or brown, or that we can't get in the water, it's so sad."
#18) Qin Chen, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on the possibility that a hurricane could push massive amounts of oil ashore along the Gulf:
"A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this year would be devastating."
#19) Retired Army General Russel Honore on the effect this spill is having on residents of the Gulf coast:
"I'm sure, every time they hear a negative word, their skin crawls, 'cause they need these jobs. ... This is what's going to put their kids in school, and what pays the rent."
#21) Louisiania Governor Bobby Jindal:
"There has been failure, particularly with the effort to protect our coast and our marsh. And that was the biggest topic of discussion in a very frank meeting we had with the president."
#22) BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles:
"This scares everybody — the fact that we can’t make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven’t succeeded so far."
#23) Doug Rader, chief ocean scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund:
"You simply cannot make more (reefs), unless you have a few thousand years to wait."
"You get hit by a hurricane and you can rebuild. But when that stuff washes up on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, you can't just go and get more white sand.''
#25) Wilma Subra, a chemist who has served as a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency:
"Every time the wind blows from the south-east to the shore, people are being made sick."
#26) Hotel Owner Dodie Vegas:
"It's just going to kill us. It's going to destroy us."
"Until they stop this leak, it's just like getting stabbed and the knife's still in you, and they're moving it around."
#29) Marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute:
"We'll see dead bodies soon. Sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, whales: the impact on predators will be seen in a short time because the food web will be impacted from the bottom up."
"We will die a slow death over the next two years as this oil creeps ashore."