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32 Pages

Guidance for the Bioremediation of Oil-Contaminated Wetlands, Marshes, and Marine Shorelines

WithAlbert D. Venosa, Xueqing Zhu

Marine shorelines are important public and ecological resources that serve as a home to a variety of wildlife and provide public recreation. Marine oil spills, particularly large scale spill accidents, have posed great threats and cause extensive damage to the marine coastal environments. The threat of crude oil contamination to coastal wetlands is particularly high in certain parts of the US, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where oil exploration, production, transportation, and refineries are extensive. The success of oil bioremediation depends on having the appropriate microorganisms in place under suitable environmental conditions. Its operational use can be limited by the composition of the oil spilled. However, if ecosystem restoration is the primary goal rather than oil cleanup, the data strongly suggest that nutrient addition would accelerate and greatly enhance restoration of the site.