06/11/2010 04:19 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sea Life Endangered by the Gulf Oil Disaster

Visit NRDCs Switchboard BlogAn unknown amount of oil has been gushing into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico for more than 50 days -- recent estimates say there could have been as much as 2 million gallons a day polluting the gulf. The oil at the surface is only part of the story. Large plumes of oil remain underwater -- scientists found plumes 10 miles long drifting through the water at great depths. Anything that encounters that oil will likely be harmed or contaminated, including the gulf's plentiful marine life, from sperm whales to phytoplankton. NRDC Senior Scientist Lisa Suatoni narrates a slideshow about the unseen disaster unfolding below the surface:

This disaster highlights the urgent need to create a National Ocean Policy (think Clean Air or Clean Water Act for the oceans) to coordinate the use and protection of our ocean ecosystems and resources for the future. NRDC is also calling for a moratorium on all new offshore oil and gas drilling activities until we find out what went wrong in the Gulf and corrective action is taken.