Consequences of spills can last for decades

From CNN:

As oil began approaching the coast of the United States, environmental scientists said the effects of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico could have ecological and biological consequences for years, if not decades.

The intricate ecosystem is a major source of seafood for the United States and hundreds of species of animals and plants are at risk, experts said.

Some areas in the path of the slick are particularly sensitive to problems because unlike the rocky coast of Alaska hit by oil from the Exxon Valdez disaster, much of the coastline that will be hit by the BP spill consists of marshy areas where the water is calmer and more difficult to clean.

The marshes are in extreme danger, said a biologist with the University of Houston who studies coastal wetlands.

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