Gulf BP disaster: Vigilance still the watchword

Louisiana coastal director Garret Graves digs up oiled soil in a coastal marsh on April 19, 2011 at Middle Ground in southern Louisiana.
John Moore/Getty Images

We never should have called it an oil spill. A spill is something accidental. It's also fairly easy to clean up. What happened a year ago in the Gulf of Mexico was not an oil spill. It was and continues to be an environmental disaster. Millions of gallons of crude oil gushed out of that hole in the bottom of the sea. Some was sucked off the surface. Some was burned off. A lot evaporated. But, watching Mark Strassman's fine reporting on the CBS Evening News Tuesday night, we could see there were plenty of marsh areas that are still thick with the gooey residue of last year's accident. And he showed evidence that subsurface areas around the well itself are mired in a kind of oily sludge. That's not to say there will be plenty of places where the fish will be plentiful and safe to eat. But, now is the time for vigilance. A clean beach doesn't mean all is well.

Just a Minute, I'm Harry Smith, CBS News