[Thomas] Shirley, the marine biologist [at Texas A&M University], notes that oil is not a foreign substance in the gulf: "What most people haven't considered is that there's 48 million gallons of oil that's leaked naturally in the gulf every year.From "Oil spill imperils an unseen world at the bottom of the gulf" by Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post.
Ian MacDonald, the Florida State University professor who has gained attention with his estimate, based on aerial images, that the leak is five times the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day, said nature will ultimately have to fix the gulf mess. "BP is not going to clean up this spill," he said. "The Coast Guard is not going to clean up this spill. What's going to clean up this spill is the physical, chemical, biological process of the good ol', poor, downtrodden Gulf of Mexico."
[Also, see later post, "Human Use Causes Much More Ocean Oil Than Drilling Accidents"]