Maryann Tobin

More than a year after the Deepwater Horizon spilled nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the thriving waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the death toll continues to rise. Dead dolphins are now being reported at rates far higher than previously revealed.

"So far this year, more than 6,500 dolphins may have died, and.... for some species of mammals, the rate is 250 times higher," according to the Huffington Post.

Dolphins are not the only ones feeling the long term affects of the Gulf oil spill. Blood tests have revealed that people living along the Gulf Coast have alarming levels of toxic oil spill related chemicals in their bodies.

The BP Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010 and killed eleven rig workers. After burning for 2 days, the rig sank into 5,000 feet of water and polluted the Gulf of Mexico for 4 months before the volcanic oil flow was finally stopped in August 2010.

In addition to leaking 180 million gallons oil and methane gas into the Gulf, BP poured more than a million gallons of toxic chemicals on to the spill, which caused much of the oil to sink out of view. Scientists have suggested that the hidden oil will cause more long term damage than BP will ever admit.