Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves says oil remaining in the Gulf of Mexico from the 2010 BP oil spill is “absolutely an added disaster threat in the middle of all this mess.”

“It’ll delay and frustrate recovery efforts,” he says, referencing Hurricane Isaac and the added concerns of oil in the Gulf.

According to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, 50 experts have been added to hurricane response teams around Louisiana to inspect for additional damage that could stem from BP oil.

Isaac made landfall in Plaquemines Parish around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. The storm’s size and slow-moving pace have officials concerned that oil from the BP spill will wash deep into the state’s already fragile wetlands:
Isaac will be the first hurricane to hit the area since the worst spill in U.S. history, which started with an April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf. The storm, moving at about 12 miles an hour last night, is expected to have a storm surge of as high as 12 feet as it hits land, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

As the storm passes, any oil carried by its power will probably end up clogging marshes as the water retreats to the Gulf, according to Graves.

In June, Brian Silliman, of the department of zoology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found oil from the spill may have more than doubled the rate of shoreline erosion by killing the roots of salt-marsh grasses. His group will go to the area after Isaac to see how much the storm affects erosion, he said in a telephone interview.
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