OK, I am just a bystander and have no special knowledge of the area nor the oil industry. You do. So question, please. Was there that much oil washing up on the coast when you were a kid? Those enviro programs about the Valdez spill made it look so bad that I would never have guessed that things could be that way naturally.
I did not mean to offend you, I just have never heard anyone talk about that nor have I ever read it anywhere.
There was so much tar on the beach atr Goleta that in the 1500s the Spanish beached their ships to tar thew bottoms.
In the 50s when I was going with my wife you couldn’t even go on the beach at slough U, UC Santa Barbara, because there was so much tar.
Clear into the late 60s there was an oil slick from the Horshoe Kelp to the Mexican border because of the oil boiling to the surface from that spot 7 miles off Long Beach.
Crude is as natural a substance on this planet as anything else. The environment is not hurt by it, and in fact it often creates a natural environment of it's own where bacteria feed on the oil and little fish eat the bacteria and bigger fish eat..............and so on.
IMO, there will be no long term damages to the environment in the gulf, and short term damages will be to birds and some gulf shrimpers who will have to go somewhere else until the slick dissipates because it will foul their catch if they pull up their nets with oil on the surface.
The crude will be absorbed by the environment and within months, not years.