The 2010 BP Oil Spill

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Oil is among the most important natural resources in the world. It is used to operate and power airplanes, cars, and to manufacture more than 6,000 products, like medicines and plastics. Even though petroleum based products make life easier- finding, producing, and moving them can harm the environment. Due to the sporadic distribution of oil, it is transported around the world on ships across the sea and by pipelines across the lands. According to the US Energy Information Act, about 59.5 percent of the crude oil and petroleum products used in the United States come from other countries, and only 46% of total oil consumption is for gasoline. Although oil and gases naturally seep through cracks in the earth’s crust, it rarely causes any major…show more content…
Marine life affected by an oil spill are at risk for disrupted growth, development, and reproduction. They are prone to tissue damage, a disrupted immune system and a change in swimming ability and behaviors. The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was deemed the worst oil spill in US history. According to a study by NRDC, the BP oil spill killed more than 1,000 sea turtles, and left more than 2,000 stranded, compared to an average 240 stranded annually. Over 1 million birds, and up to 5,000 marine mammals also lost their lives in the disaster. Fish caught in the aftermath of the oil spill had lesions, their larvae were contaminated- leading to heart defects and death, and century old deep-sea coral was extensively damaged. Oysters are a particularly important part of healthy costal ecosystems and salty waters are a necessary and vital component for oysters to survive. In an effort to reduce the spread of oil along the coast during the BP oil spill, the state of Louisiana poured large volumes of fresh water into the sea, which inadvertently decreased salinity in the water, believed to have killed even more oysters than the actual event. In “Oil spill: Gulf oysters vanish after 2010 spill,” Stacey Plaisance states, “Louisiana 's public reefs typically would produce anywhere from 3 million to 7 million pounds of oyster meat a year. In 2010 and 2011,…show more content…
Economies highly dependent on tourism, and fisheries may suffer the most. Big-ticket fishing and shellfish areas may be closed down, to reduce the risk of human consumption health effects. Not only will the fishery businesses suffer a huge financial loss if consumers are stopped from or unwilling to eat the fish, many may also be out of a job. Ironically though, because people are needed to tackle the sometimes massive cleanup, it is possible for an economy to see an increase in jobs following a spill. One study from 2015 about the long-term effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, projects a loss of more than 22,000 jobs by 2020, as a result of the impacts to businesses that rely on heathy fisheries. This conclusion also leads to an upset in tourism and recreational activities. As suggested by the Third R&D Forum on high-density oil spills, "sunken heavy fuel oil may have significant impact on seabed resources and fishing and mariculture activities." Oil soaked sands and water often result in restrictions from swimming and boating in an area, thus giving people concerns that their heath may be compromised, deterring people from vacationing. Therefore, even hotel and restaurant businesses who make their income from recreational activities and scenery in the coastal
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