News of the WeekGulf Oil Disaster

Louisiana Begins Controversial Engineering to Ward Off Oil Spill

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Science  04 Jun 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5983, pp. 1214-1215
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5983.1214-a

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Regardless of when BP finally manages to stop its undersea gusher from the Deepwater Horizon, a massive slick will likely remain in the Gulf of Mexico for some time. With public officials desperate for action, the magnitude of the disaster—the largest oil spill in U.S. history—has inspired an unprecedented and untested idea for combating it: an extensive sand trap. But scientists are dubious about the project's chance of success and say it could even jeopardize long-term restoration of Louisiana's wetlands, which have been disappearing for decades.