BP Anniversary Brings Fear of Unknown

BP Anniversary Brings Fear of Unknown

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GULF SHORES, Alabama -

Self proclaimed sea turtle czar Mike Reynolds travels the beach almost every day. "We're always on the lookout for the tarballs, we're eyes on the beach." He doesn't see them much anymore. "If you look up and down the beach here it looks beautiful, you don't really see any obvious issues."

That doesn't mean they aren't there. "BP is talking about everything is great and not nearly the impact we thought we were going to have. They really can't say that yet," says Reynolds.

Charter boat captain Jim Summer agrees. He fishes the deep water of the gulf. "One thing I'm concerned about is the offshore pelagic fish you know, the tuna fish and the wahoos, those type of fish that migrate in and out because this all happened during the spawning season of the tuna."

Both men say enough time has passed now to start revealing long term impacts of the oil spill. "I don't know if we're going to be seeing the quality catches that we have in the years prior to this but hopefully we do and hopefully I'm wrong," says Summer.

Back in 2010 beaches looked a lot like this. It wasn't the weather keeping folks away it was the oil. Tourism tanked that year but since has made a remarkable comeback.

"Our economy is doing very well." Back then, Orange Beach mayor Tony Kennon led the charge against the oil giant. Now, "It's just a faded memory I don't want to think about it. We're moving on. I feel loss for the families of the folks that lost their lives but we're moving on, except for the money they owe us. Obviously we're still going to pursue that."

Meanwhile, Mike Reyonlds is getting ready for another turtle nesting season and a long wait. "We're just a few years into a ten, fifteen, twenty year cycle of looking at that goes on after putting that much oil into the environment."

He fears the real impact of the oil spill may be just beginning.

The first phase of the federal trial that will determine who is to blame for the "Gusher in the Gulf" ended earlier this week. It could be months before the judge reaches a decision.

To date, BP says it has paid 10.7 billion dollars in claims, advances, settlements and other payments.

In a statement released earlier this week BP says: "While work is still underway, it is clear that the dire predictions many made about the future of the gulf have not come to pass."

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