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Researchers Prepare for Beach Oil

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By Roderick McClain

Wilmington, NC – There's a less than 1% chance that oil spilled in the gulf could reach beaches along the Cape Fear Coast, but that isn't stopping some UNCW researchers from gathering data just in case.

Along with a group of students and faculty, UNCW Biology professor Larry Cahoon is taking baseline samples of local beaches.

Cahoon says beaches in the southeastern part of the state are healthy, but it's a good procedure to document typical conditions in case the oil shows up.

"This is going to be the mother of all liability action. The lawyers are going to feast like vultures on dead things. You've got people dead all ready; you've got people out of work. Everything you can think of that could go wrong has gone wrong here."

A drop in business and property values has fueled Myrtle Beach residents to launch action against BP. If North Carolina follows suit, Cahoon's study can show how healthy the beach was before the oil arrived.

They expect to finish their research in July.

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