Sampling taken for oil spill damage assessment

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In response to the BP oil spill, NOAA's Mussel Watch program has mobilized three teams of scientists to test shellfish, sediment and water at 60 locations along the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Keys to Brazos River, Texas.

The mission of this Mussel Watch effort is to collect additional baseline data on contamination in strategic areas of the Gulf shoreline so that if the oil hits a particular area, new samples can be taken that would reveal the full impact of the spill.

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