Seventy-five scientists have given the Gulf of Mexico a health test, and the grade, when averaged, comes out to 71, a C- by most standards. In an AP story published today, scientists call the Gulf “resilient” in its ability to rebound not only from the BP oil spill, but the many insults visited on the southern coast. “Stress” is the other adjective that keeps popping up.

In addition to the current oil spill, the Gulf regularly has to contend with millions of gallons of pollutants flushed into the water body by the Mississippi River, creating an annual Dead Zone that this year has been compared in size to the state of Massachusetts. Throw in the loss of coastal marshes, over fishing, trawlers churning up the bottom and hurricanes chewing up the surface waters.

How many more times can the prolific warm waters of the Gulf continue to rebound? That’s the question many of the scientists verbalized. The Gulf “keeps getting knocked down.You can only get knocked down so many times before you don’t get back up,” Larry McKinney, director of a Gulf research center at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi told the AP. “At what point do you get the tipping point?”

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