Still people make the argument that oil is just too important to stop drilling and that if anything we should drill more. Again author Margaret Haerens talks about how “According to the nation academy of Sciences, current cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of the oil spilled into the ocean, leaving the remaining oil to continue affecting ocean ecosystems over time” (126). The long term impacts of offshore spills continue to corrupt the oceans and who knows when they will completely be gone. The effects of the oil directly on sea life such as sea birds, fish, shellfish, and other sea life are extremely dangers. “Studies have shown that tiny amounts of oil – as little as one part per billion – can harm pink salmon and cause their eggs to fail” (Haerens Margaret). Imagine swimming in the ocean when a large pool of toxic oils comes floating along right into you when you are trying to enjoy a day at the beach. Not only is offshore drilling have one of the longest lasting ecological impacts on society and living things on and off shore, it effects our economy as well.
Massive cleanup efforts were initiated within a few weeks of the spill and they continued at reduced levels for the next three years. Approximately 14% of the spilled oil was recovered by cleanup crews (Newsweek, p.50). As a result of these efforts and natural weathering, little oil from the spill remained in the affected area by 1992. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration some oil residues are still found under the ocean surface in areas sheltered from wind and waves. Yet, these residues are highly weathered and the toxicity is reduced to levels tolerable by organisms in the water (7). Nonetheless, the magnitude and timing of the Exxon Valdez oil spill raised immediate concerns about possible effects on marine fish and wildlife and prospects that these effects might be long lasting.
Regardless of their attempt, the spread of the oil to the surface and shore of the ocean was inevitable. Therefore, all marine animals were affected by the oil contamination in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil filled the blowholes and entered the lungs of dolphins and whales. This made breathing almost impossible.
Out of all of these ways, oil spills can cause a noticeably excessive amount of damage to the ocean. Although only 12% of the oil entering the sea is caused by spills, they can deteriorate ocean life and environment more than any other pollution. One gallon of used oil spilled into the ocean, which contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals severely dangerous to the micro-organism at the base of the food chain, can cause an eight-acre layer
The oil spill created long term problems for the living organisms that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. The oil covered the feathers of birds, making them unable to float at the surface. The oil killed some of the deep sea coral as far as seven miles away from the site. Mammals ingested the oil, which resulted in some of the mammals having internal bleeding and ulcers. This has also lead to an increase in sea turtles stranding, sick dolphins, and a decrease in population of many marine animals. This disaster stuck during the breeding season for many species of wildlife. “The oil’s toxicity may have hit egg and larval organisms immediately”, which could have wiping out those age classes. Population dips and cascading food web has occurred due to
Offshore oil drilling is a controversial topic because when oil spills, it does extensive amounts of damage to the environment. Countries capable of mining oil in the ocean reap the economic benefits in addition to reducing their dependency on external oil. While it is uncontroversial that offshore drilling is a massive boon for those countries, the environmental consequences of a spill also affect the economic welfare of nearby residents. Oil contaminates animals through a process called biomagnification, where chemicals progressively become more detrimental to the animals the higher they are on the food chain. When oil spills into the ocean, it impairs the growth of native species and deteriorates the ecosystem. As a result, the livelihood of people in the tourist industry, fisherman, and shrimpers is crippled and may take decades to recover.
Until now, when the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in 2010 and dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil into Louisiana salt marshes, scientists had no idea which kinds of animals were most affected and what impact it had on the food chain. However, with a new study from a Coastal Waters Consortium team of researchers led by Rutgers University postdoctoral researcher, Michael McCann, has found out what animals and insects affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion that should be given the top priority for conservation, protection and research. The researchers found that terns, gulls and wading birds were both sensitive to the oil and so deeply connected to other animals in the food chain as predator and prey that losing them would impact
oil spill happened five years ago and nearly 5 barrels of oil was spilt into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill was caused from an explosion through the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The main effect from this oil spill was the losses of the animals. Causing many to almost go extinct. As a result from the oil spill the earth has had—losses from pollution, the cost, and the damage of people.
IMPACT OF THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL IN THE GULF OF MEXICO ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
The Gulf oil spill, dated nearly six years ago, still haunts the waters today from what several scientists have claimed the article “Deepwater Horizon: One Year On.” In this article, the writer discusses how the scientists researching the spill have concluded thousands of species are becoming endangered from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores located around the gulf area. The article explains the cleaning of the spill had not made as much of an impact as they hoped for several years ago. The aforementioned scientists reported that the vast majority of the oil was not pulled from the water, and much of it has either: sunk to the bottom of the ocean, burned at the top, or made its way to shore. That being said, they also report that the shore,
The oils spills can kill the animals or delay their reproduction, growth and development. The entire reef ecosystem can suffer from an oil spill, affecting the many species of fish, crabs, and other marine animals that live in and around the coral reefs.
Resulting in what is referred to as an ocean slick a thin layer of oil over the water it has contaminated,when animals swallow the contaminated water it can poison them mainly bottom dwellers and fish who, can develop diseases and reproductive problems. After the spill there are many steps in containing the oil spill is getting animals out of the area using traps designed to scare them so they flee into where the people running
Understanding various ecosystems allow us to better understand the impact in which the deep horizon spill had within each type of ecosystem. The oil spill occurred around three specific types of ecosystems including the coastal areas, the freshwater areas, and the upland areas. The coastal areas often contain salty marshes which can be harsh on many plants. These coastal areas also include tropical coral reefs, sand dunes, and maritime forests. The freshwater areas include rivers and springs, lakes, swamps and freshwater marshes while the upland areas have pine and Flatwoods, temperate forests, and scrub (Par. 5). Each of these ecosystems can provide a different mixtures of challenges
The oil also has a physical and physiological effect including irritation, inflammation, or necrosis of the skin, chemical burns, ingestion of oil/dispersants can lead to inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, as well as possible damage to liver, kidneys, and brain tissue. It can also cause disfunction of the immune and reproductive system. The wildlife can become physiologically stressed, their physical condition will ultimately decline, and some may even die. The oil spill has additionally had an extensive effect on the ecosystem as a whole. An ecosystem can be defined as a biological environment consisting of all the organism living in a particular area, as well as the non-living physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact. Experts predict that the ecosystem could require years or even decades to fully recover since there is a chance of biomagnification. Biomagnification occurs once a PBT(Persistent Bioaccumalative substances) have piled up in one part of the ecosystem the substance becomes concentrated from one link in the food web to the next. It can affect entire populations and threaten biodiversity in “insidious, sub-lethal” ways. In addition to the possibility of biomagnification the oil causes
Over 8000 animals were reported dead 6 months after the spill, including many that were on the endangered species list (7). Subsequently, seafood prices increased affecting restaurants and supermarkets. People abstained from going to beaches covered in oil, water sports and other aquatic attractions which meant that all organisations involved in tourism such as hotels, tour operators, restaurants and boat rental companies were affected (1). Furthermore, the method of cleaning up the oil by “in-situ burning” (burning oil in a contained area on the surface of the water), had adverse effects on the environment as the burning off of the oil led to mutations and increased mortality due to pollution.