The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate damages to public property - the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public. Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages - and disappeared liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
NOAA should also be conducting carcass drift studies. Only one percent of the dead sea birds made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska, for example. That means for every one bird that was found, another 99 were carried out to sea by currents. Further, NOAA should be conducting aerial surveys to look for carcasses in the offshore rips where the currents converge. That's where the carcasses will pile up--a fact we learned during the Exxon Valdez spill. Maybe that's another reason for BP's "no camera" policy and the flight restrictions.
From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
She also reports that while up in a small plane flying from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot reported that noticed "the thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama".
The reason for doing so? To keep the media from seeing and reporting on the oil that is reaching the beaches. It is widely known now that the booms are not being used properly and are thusly ineffective from keeping the oil from reaching its target, which is another reason for BP to keep the media access limited.
The more we see and hear from people, the more obvious it is that BP is in charge of this with the Government playing a minimal role and one of solely deferring to whatever BP wants with regards to the clean up effort. As stated by Dr. Ott, BP should have no say whatsoever in the collection of evidence, and allowing them to control any aspect of this is criminal.