NOAA issued a major report on August 4, titled Federal Science Report Details Fate of Oil from BP Spill. The full text of that report ( 5 pages) is available here. Nevertheless, other scientists are questioning the methodology and results of the NOAA study. See Scientists question government team’s report of shrinking gulf oil spill, Wash Post, Aug. 5. Some quotes from that article:
* * * in interviews, scientists who worked on the report said the figures were based in large part on assumptions and estimates with a significant margin of error.
Some outside scientists went further: In a situation in which many facts remain murky, they said, the government seemed to have used interpretations that made the gulf — and the federal efforts to save it — look as good as possible.
Regarding some of the human impacts of the spill, see Oil Spill Has Far-Reaching Effects on Children and Families, a new report by Dr. Irwin Redlener, Columbia University. His study found significant impacts on health, economic stability, and daily routines. August, 2010. From the report:
More than one-quarter (26.6%) of coastal residents said they thought they might have to move away from the Gulf Coast. Among those earning less then $25,000, the figure was 36.3%. Children whose parents think they may move are almost three times more likely to have mental health distress than are children whose parents do not expect to move.