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BP Oil Spill one of largest environmental disasters in US history

GULF OF MEXICO   --  The BP oil spill is one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history -- spilling more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now a new study says the catastrophe did more damage than previously reported.

The study --  by the Heart Research Institute at the Island University -- is the first of its kind to study the deep sea following the 87 day spill.
Researchers say much of the initial research on the oil spill focused just on the gulf's surface.

"Severe degradation. We say losses of up to 30-50 percent of diversity and abundance. A huge decrease in organisms that should be there..."

Researchers say recovery in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon blowout will take decades or longer.