Dig 2 feet (60 centimeters) into the sand on the wind-swept beach at East Grand Terre Island in Louisiana and up comes the foul smell of oil.
The unmistakable whiff of crude eight months after the BP spill is one of the last in-your-face reminders of the long, tainted summer on the Gulf Coast.
For months, in what BP calls Operation Deep Clean, crews have been scouring the Gulf Coast's sandy shores for oil _ digging, scraping, tilling and sifting beach after beach.
But it's unlikely they will get all of it by the time college students begin flocking to the Gulf Coast for spring break at the end of February.
There is so much oil under the sand, mud and oyster shells that tar balls may be washing up for months, if not years.