BP Oil Spill The causes, impacts, and the SOLUTIONS to it

What is the BP Oil Spill

The BP Oil spill was a massive oil spill that happened about 7 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion happened causing oil to leak out into the gulf. Many animals died, along with their habitats that got destroyed by the oil.

Causes:

1.Dodgy Cement: the cement at the base of the bore hole did not create a seal and oil and gas began to leak out. (Mullins)

2.Valve Failure: the bottom of the pipe to the surface was sealed in two ways it too was filled with cement and also contained two mechanical valves. these valves failed to function. (Mullins)

3.Pressure Test Misinterpreted: the crew of the oil rig carried out various pressure tests to determine weather it was sealed or not these tests were read incorrectly. (Mullins)

Environmental Impact

  1. A species that was impacted by the BP oil spill was the brown pelican. When the pelicans go to clean their feathers, they can ingest the oil. The oil can have some serious health affects to pelicans. Some of these include physiological metabolic, development, and behavior effects which can lead to their death. Many pelicans escaped the gulf but, some couldn't fly away because they were badly drenched in oil. (Jaymi)

2. Dolphins were also affected by the oil spill. Contact with the oil on the dolphins body can cause lung disease, hormonal abnormalities, and health affects that can be serious. Many dolphins escaped the gulf, but some did not. (Ker)

3. Sea Turtles were also affected during the oil spill. When sea turtles go to breath above the water, they can inhale oil vapor, affecting the lungs. The oil can irate sensitive mucus membranes around certain parts of their bodies such as the eyes, lungs, and digestive tract. Difficulty breathing, and heart failure can also occur. Oil contact with sea turtle eggs can cause developmental problems to the unborn sea turtles. (How do Oil Spills Affects Sea Turtles)

4. Sperm whales were also affected by the oil spill. When whales go to the surface the breathe, they can inhale oil fumes, which can go into their lungs. The fumes are so powerful, that it can even knock-out an adult whale causing them to drown. Most of their food was also covered with oil, which can negatively impact their diet. (Oil Spill to Wipe out Gulf's Sperm Whales)

Solutions to the Spill

1. Officials used booms to help clean up the spill. Booms are floating barriers made of plastic or metal, with a curtain that goes in the water. Booms were used to keep oil from ever reaching the shore. (Chris)

2. Officials also used containment domes to clean up the oil. Containment domes are tall rectangular containers, that workers lower into the water. Once in the water, the containment dome will suck up as much oil as it can, before it gets pulled back up. (Chris)

3. In-Situ Burning was another solution that officials used to clean the spill. In remote areas in the gulf, officials would set fire to the water to burn the oil away. This method gets rid of the oil quick, but can damage marine life below. Fire-resistant booms are used to contain the fire, so it doesn't spread to unwanted areas. (Chris)

4. There is a way that we can all prevent oil spills. Our electricity, air conditioning, heating, and appliances all runs on oil. And we all sometimes waste our electricity, and the more electricity we use, the more oil that will have to be pumped through our pipelines. And if a spill happens, there will be a lot of oil leaked. If we can all save electricity, and turn off things when were not using them, then less oil will be pumped through the pipelines, and if a spill happens, there will be less oil that is leaked. (Your Choices can Prevent Oil Spills).

Works Cited

Works Cited

"The eight failures that caused the Gulf oil spill." New scientist, Relax group, 8 Sept. 2010, www.newscientist.com/article/dn19425-the-eight-failures-that-caused-the-gulf-oil-spill/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

Heimbuch, Jaymi. "5 Years after BP Oil Spill, Brown Pelicans Still Affected." MNN.com, Narrative Content Group, 22 Apr. 2015, www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/5-years-after-bp-oil-spill-brown-pelicans-still-affected. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

"How Do Oil Spills Affect Sea Turtles." Response.Restoration.noaa.gov, response.restoration.noaa.gov/about/media/how-do-oil-spills-affect-sea-turtles.html. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

Morrison, Chris. "Seven Technologies Used to Clean the Gulf Oil Spill." CBSNews.com, CBS Interactive, 5 May 2010, www.cbsnews.com/news/seven-technologies-used-to-clean-the-gulf-oil-spill/. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

Than, Ker. "Dolphin Illness Linked to Gulf Oil Spill." NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Partners, 20 Dec. 2013, news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/13/131220-bp-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-sick-dolphins/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

---. "Oil Spill to Wipe out Gulf's Sperm Whales?" News.NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Partners, 21 May 2010, news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100521-science-environment-gulf-mexico-oil-spill-sperm-whales/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

"Your Choices Can Help Prevent Oil Spills." Hearts.com, Hearts, www.hearts.com/ecolife/eco-lifestyle-choices-oil-spills-history/. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

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