The environmental damage from Hurricane Ike last month is just now becoming clear. An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows at least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas. At least 52 oil platforms were destroyed in the Gulf, and 32 severely damaged.
The hardest hit areas were industrial centers near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as oil production facilities off Louisiana's coast. A Coast Guard spokesman says they're dealing with "a multitude of different types of pollution," from diesel in the water to gasoline to household chemicals. The toll on wildlife is still unfolding, but only a few pelicans and osprey turned up oiled.
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