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BP Oil Spill Conference Underway in New Orleans

Some of the world’s leading scientists and academics are in New Orleans this week to review research under way into the effects of the BP oil spill. It’s the first year of a 10-year review.

The conference is sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. BP is underwriting the $500 million-dollar grant program, which will look at the effects of the oil on people, as well as the Gulf ecosystem and coastline.

The chairwoman of the initiative says that so far, research has found that oil did not travel out of the Gulf — as some feared in the early aftermath of the 2010 spill. And she says naturally occurring micro-organisms broke up much of the oil, little of which settled into oysters or their shells.

A public session is planned tonight that features a member of the commission formed by the White House, and a chief scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the spill.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.