Continued from page 1

Some scientists disputed the report’s veracity, and much of the remaining crude has permeated deep into marshes and wetlands, complicating cleanup.

As BP pulled brought in 33-year employee Utsler to take over the response and the blown well appeared to have flatlined, some Gulf residents who still see the oil wreaking havoc worry the nation’s attention is shifting.

“I’m losing trust in the whole system,” said Willie Davis, a 41-year-old harbormaster in Pass Christian, Miss. “If they don’t get up off their behinds and do something now, it’s gonna be years before we’re back whole again.”

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jason Dearen in Pass-A-Loutre, La., Jennifer Kay in Pensacola Beach, Fla., Brian Skoloff in Pass Christian, Miss., Jeffrey Collins and Jeff McMillan in New Orleans, and Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala.