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Spill Science & Technology Bulletin
Oil contamination may persist in the marine environment for many years after an oil spill and, in exceptional cases such as salt marshes and mangrove swamps, the effects may be measurable for decades after the event. However, in most cases, environmental recovery is relatively swift and is complete within 2–10 years. Where oil has been eliminated from the scene, the long-term environmental impacts are generally confined to community structure anomalies that persist because of the longevity of the component species.