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By Mark Schleifstein, | The Times-Picayune
February 12, 2015


A new peer-reviewed study of deaths of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico finds the highest number of animal strandings and deaths between 2010 and early 2013 occurred in areas most impacted by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including Barataria Bay and other Louisiana locations.

In comparison, Gulf Coast areas of Texas and Florida, which experienced little to no oiling, saw few statewide increases in stranded dolphins between 2010 and June 2013, the study found.

The study said that while the causes of the Gulf's "unusual mortality event" have not been determined, "the location and magnitude of dolphin strandings" in the year following the 2010 spill "overlap in time and space with locations that received d oiling." That included a cluster of dolphins strandings and deaths in Barataria Bay from August 2010 to December 2011, said the study published online in the scientific journal PloS One.