Getting to Know the Gulf
by Benjamin R. Bombard
Salt Lake biologist Chris Cline documents the Deep Horizon oil disaster.
A really crappy reason to get to know a really beautiful place—Salt Lake biologist Chris Cline documents the Deep Horizon oil disaster. When Chris Cline last visited America’s southern shore on the Gulf of Mexico, it was May, just two weeks after the Deep Horizon oil rig exploded and oil began pouring into the ocean. A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Utah Field Office, Cline was down south as part of the government’s initial response to the oil spill. She and her team had two tasks: get the lay of the land before oil rolled ashore and record the damage done to the area’s wildlife—its birds, fish and marine mammals. On her last day in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, she stood on the shore, looking out to sea. There was oil on the water, coming in on the waves, building up on the beach.