DALLAS — The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could devastate the economy and ecology of coastal regions in several states, but it is too early to know what the ultimate effects will be.

Federal, state and local officials from Texas to Florida are keeping an anxious eye on the oil gushing from almost a mile underwater since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast on the night of April 20.

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