Black is the New Blue

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What's the big deal about oil spills? Oh sure, they are bad for the environment, but you don't hear it every day on the news. It's always about crimes, killings, robberies, or health. Most people probably put it aside, but it is a bigger deal than some people think.

Oil Spills happen when people spill some by accident, or they can be just plain mean and dump it in there for no reason. So many things can cause oil spills. For example, if equipmen8t breaks down then it could cause and oil spill. If two countries are at war, and they want to contaminate somebody's ocean, they don’t think about all of the other helpless creatures that are suffering and dying because of the oil. Terrorists may dump oil into an ocean just to get a countries attention. Some people dump oil into the water because they don’t want to pay to decompose it. These people are called illegal dumpers. Hurricanes can also cause oil spills. If there is a hurricane nearby then it can knock over a big tanker of oil.

Birds are one animal that get affected by oil spills. Therefore, when oil gets on their fur they can’t fly because the oil weighs them down. Then they try to lick themselves clean and they get poisoned, so they die. Oil has a big effect on birds because once they lick themselves the oil enters their lungs and their livers. Oil can also blind an animal because the oil gets in their eyes. The animal will not be able to see their predators, so they might get eaten.

Killer Whales are also affected by oil spills. This is one of the main reasons why they are going extinct. One way they can get affected is when they come up to take a breath through their blowhole. If the blowhole is covered with oil it can’t breathe. Another reason why they are dying is because when they eat a fish, which has been contaminated by oil, they can die from it.

One of the biggest spills was called the Exxon Valdez spill. The Exxon Valdez was a major spill in Prince William, Alaska. This spill happened when the drivers of a tanker saw that there were icebergs in their path, instead of weaving through the icebergs the drivers of the tanker decided to go another path. Therefore, the tanker hit shallow land and it spilled about 125 Olympic- sized swimming pools of oil. There were about 2,800 sea otters dead, along with about 250,000 seabirds.

There are many animals that are recovering from the oil spill, but there are many that aren’t recovering. Some of the ones that are recovering are Bald Eagles and River Otters. Some of the animals that aren’t recovering are the Harbor Seal, Harlequin Duck, and Killer Whales. This is why most of these animals are going extinct. The Exxon Valdez spill impacted over 1,300 miles of ocean. It took 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats, 100, airplanes, and $2.1 billion for cleanup.

There are many ways to clean an animal after it has been in an oil spill. When a bird arrives at a cleaning center, they flush out their eyes and their intestines with water. Then they will be examined to see if they have any broken bones, cuts or dieses. They will give them a medicine that prevents oil from entering their intestines again. These steps are used for a lot of other animals affected by spills also.

So what can our community do to help? If you think about it we use a lot of oil each day. Cars, trains, and busses need oil to run. If you walk to school instead of having a family member drive you over can help a lot. The more oil that we use the more it has to be transported in big tankers, and there’s a higher chance of a spill to happen. Also, if we turn of all lights, computers, and televisions, when they aren’t in use, then we aren’t using as much oil to put electricity through the house.

The government has also put up laws for oil spills. This is called the Oil Pollution Act. The OPA requires oil storage facilities to submit their plans to the Federal Government telling about their actions if there is a large discharge. They also require that they have a plan for a spill that is of regional levels.

There are many things that we can do to help all of the animals in the oceans. Oil spills are a very big impact on, not just animals, but the environment too. It is polluting the air and making that area a very bad place to live. If you make the change to walk to school instead of taking the bus, or doing such a simple thing as turning off the lights, can make a big difference in the world.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Sally's Sister said...
Apr. 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm
Way to go this is a very good article.
Sally Sunshine said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 8:36 am
Very good article, very informative.
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