There are three primary ways oil injures wildlife:
Thousands of workers participated in the cleanup efforts, but since little was known about effective cleanup methods, the workers weren't as successful as they could have been. In addition, cleanup didn't begin until three days after the spill, after a storm had spread much of the oil onto the coastline before it could be contained. Despite the cleanup effort, several miles of shoreline are still contaminated, and up to 200 tons of crude oil remain [source: Hoare , National Wildlife ]. Even in areas where the surface waters appear clear, oil often lurks beneath the surface in little pockets buried by sediment.