Drastic oil spills happen every few years and are very devastating to the environment around them. Oil spills affect the marine life, including aquatic plants and animals. The toxic oil, when released into the ocean, prevents the plants from receiving light and producing photosynthesis. This makes a limited amount of oxygen present in the ocean and there is not enough for the fish, and other animals to survive. Oil spills are not only harmful to aquatic life but harmful to human life and the economy.
The economy is largely effected by oil spills. Many companies has to close for many weeks, sometimes even months, because they sell fish and other products that rely on the ocean. But with an oil spill, all the fish are dying and they loose their value because there are carcinogens found in oil.
One of the most devastating oil spills in history is the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill in 2010 in the gulf of Mexico. This killed thousand of birds and also ended the lives of 11 people. It’s not a pleasant sight to see thousands of dead fish floating at the top of the surface, and seeing birds struggle to fly.
“From 2002 to 2009, the Gulf averaged 63 dolphin deaths a year. That rose to 125 in the seven months after the spill in 2010 and 335 in all of 2011, averaging more than 200 a year since April 2010.”
It is extremely hard to clean up an oil spill because the oil spreads depending on the current and tides. It is also very hard to clean up oil in the water because much of it ends up on the seafloor. After the Gulf oil spill there were 6 to 10 million gallons of oil on the bottom of the ocean that rescue crews were not able to clean up.
Birds are one of the animals most affected by oil spills, the oil sits on their feathers and they are unable to maintain their body temperatures. The oil can also affected their ability to float in the water. Birds have tiny air pockets which affect their buoyancy and how well they float.