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Chances slim oil spill will reach our shores

Chances are slim that oil from the current spill in the Gulf Coast will reach Gloucester and Mathews in catastrophic amounts, but the spill could still cause problems for marine animals that inhabit Virginia waters.

And if a similar spill were to occur off the coast of Virginia, the effects here could be just as devastating as those in the Gulf of Mexico.

Carl Hershner, director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, has spent years researching tidal and nontidal wetlands ecology. He said that, while normal tidal flow had "pretty much assured" that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill would be washed ashore someplace along the Gulf Coast, it would take a particular set of circumstances for any of that region’s oil to make its way into the Chesapeake Bay.

A computer simulation developed under the auspices of the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows that if oil from the spill were to ...

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