Remember when BP dumped all that dispersant into the Gulf of Mexico to make the Deepwater Horizon oil go away? In Montana, where an Exxon Mobil pipeline spilled oil into the Yellowstone River, high waters have scattered the oil. The International Bird Rescue folks write:
Massive snowmelt has made the river a rapid and violent body of water that has wiped out the quiet inlets and slack water areas that waterfowl enjoy. Many of the area’s seasonal wild residents had already been forced to move, thereby avoiding much of the oil as it flowed down the river.
The turbulent river was so fast that it broke up the slick into streamers that eventually became smaller smudges and pieces of oil. These pieces can be seen on patches of vegetation, and as they dehydrate and become even more sticky, leaf and other debris adheres to them, helping them decompose quicker, and ultimately making them less likely to harm wildlife. On the other hand, fast-moving water also makes finding any remaining oil more difficult.
Exxon Mobil says it has nearly 600 people working on the cleanup. As of Saturday, the company reporting having treated a garter snake and a western toad. Bonus read: The National Wildlife Federation says Exxon Mobil is making a hash of this.