What Now?

With the cap on the blown well holding, BP and its team are preparing to permanently seal it with mud and cement early this week. Meanwhile, the oil slick on the water surface is receding quickly, and the company says it will start scaling back cleanup efforts in the area. And so an environmental catastrophe begins to fade away.

But what does the future hold for the ravaged ecosystems in the area? What are the long-term prospects for the communities that depend on them? Andy Revkin, eco-thinker and the man behind the must-read Dot Earth blog, asked a bunch of biologists and other scientists their thoughts on the matter, and received some interesting responses.

Of major concern are the the nearly 2 million gallons of chemical dispersants sprayed on the oil slicks. The dispersants don't make oil disappear, but simply cause it to disperse and sink, raising justifiable concerns about its effects under the surface of the water.

Check out what the researchers are saying at Revkin's post.

For you tweeters out there, be sure to follow Revkin on Twitter.

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