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Workers prepare to fill a whole that was dug to search for a layer of tar buried under the sand on an East Grant Terre Island, La., beach. Beaches that once looked like excavation sites are returning to normal, but there is still oil underneath the sand, mud and oyster shells.

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Cleanup of Gulf Coast nears end

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.

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