Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Research Paper

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The rate of oil spills has increased rapidly as humans become more reliant on oil as an energy source. In fact, there have been more than 50 mega-spills since 1970. One of the worst effects of oil spills is the immense impact on marine wildlife. Humans should reduce their oil usage because oil spills are harmful to marine mammals, dangerous to whales, destructive to aquatic birds, deadly to fish, and can be as disastrous as the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The effects of oil spills on mammals are catastrophic. When these creatures come into contact with oil, they can develop hypothermia. This is caused by oil matting their fur and making it lose its ability to hold in heat. Also, the animals lick their fur clean, but this often has lethal outcomes. This can result in lung, kidney, and liver damage, as well as death from toxins. Oil spills also have indirect effects on these mammals, such as habitat loss and a diminishing food supply. Lastly, the oil slicks can make animals blind from continuous exposure. Because oil spills cause so much damage, many marine mammals die because of it. Whales, including dolphins,…show more content…
Nearly 11 million gallons of oil was spilled into the Gulf of Alaska. That’s as much as 125 Olympic-size swimming pools. Secondly, the Exxon Valdez oil spill covered 1,300 square miles, damaging many different ecosystems. The spill killed many animals, including 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 otters, and 300 harbor seals. It also killed 250 bald eagles, 22 killer whales, and countless salmon and herring. Finally, Prince William Sound has still not recovered more than 25 years later. It is still possible to find oil, and some species are not recovering. This includes the herring, pigeon guillemots, and the Killer Whale Pod AT1. Since the Exxon Valdez oil spill was so devastating to the environment, is is a sign of why humans need to change their energy
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