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Scientists lower Gulf of Mexico's health grade

Scientists lower Gulf of Mexico's health grade
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Monday, October 18, 2010 - 12:57pm

(AP) - Scientists who study the Gulf of Mexico say its ecological health has declined, though not dramatically, since the BP oil spill. In an informal survey for The Associated Press, 75 scientists offered baseline pre-spill grades on a scale of 0 to 100 in July, with 100 being pristine.

The AP repeated the survey for the same categories in October, six months after the April 20 BP rig explosion. This time 35 scientists responded.

Overall Gulf health

Pre-spill: 71

October: 65

Oysters

Pre-spill: 64

October: 53

Crabs

Pre-spill: 68

October: 59

Sea floor

Pre-spill: 68

October: 61

Wetlands

Pre-spill: 65

October: 60

Sea Turtles

Pre-spill: 57

October: 53

Birds

Pre-spill: 76

October: 73

Beaches

Pre-spill: 74

October: 72

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