1985 report by Mexico’s National Autonomous University concluded that the effect of the spill was limited. The Ixtoc spill, it explains, “despite being of great proportions did not (…) cause the deadly environmental impact over the diverse communities and elements that make up the Campeche Sound.”
But another study, carried out by Swedish researchers in 1981, appears to contradict that view. “The oil from the Ixtoc I blow-out acutely affected the species and ecosystems in the Campeche Bay area through its chemical toxicity (in the vicinity of the well) and through its physical properties (stickiness) in a larger area offshore and along the coast,” that study says. Beyond the academic debate, locals are adamant that the most obvious evidence of Ixtoc’s legacy are the black, rock-like formations of solidified oil that can be found in parts of the Campeche coast. Those were not here before the Ixtoc spill, they say.
Isn’t anyone going to talk about the tectonics of the Gulf of Mexico?