Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Devastating Effect of Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico|Custom Topographical Wood Charts



The worst environmental disaster in the United States happened on 2010 when Deepwater Horizon exploded. Releasing an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, it was the largest marine oil spill. Even the clean-up efforts set a new high record in history. 


The former White House energy adviser, Carol Browner described the disaster as “the worst environmental disaster the US has faced.” 

Harry Roberts, a professor at Louisiana State University for Coastal Studies claimed that 4 million barrels of oil would greatly impact the environment. He said that the oil release into the Gulf was enough to “"wipe out marine life deep at sea near the leak and elsewhere in the Gulf, along hundreds of miles of coastline." 

Deepwater Horizon disaster was 20 times greater than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Environmentalist claimed that petroleum toxicity and oxygen depletion as the main cause of damage to the environment.

With the already polluted Gulf of Mexico, the disaster brought another environmental concern in the country. 


How exactly devastating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? The film Deepwater Horizon was based on the real life events of the oil spill, showing the world how gruesome the disaster is. But here are the facts about the largest oil spill in history. 

Still, in its cleaning-up operations authorities collected oil residue from June 2011 to March 2013 as follows: 



· Louisiana - 9,810,133 pounds.

· Alabama - 941,427 pounds.

· Mississippi - 112,449 pounds.

· Florida - 73,341 pounds.


Oil Spill Effects in Marine Animals




Marine animals suffered the most because of the oil spill as more than 400 animal species inhabited the Gulf of Mexico. The damages in the Gulf’s natural resources resulted in an estimated amount of $17.5 billion. 

In 2011, the nature journal, BioScience, researchers from the University of New Hampshire released a publication about the aftermath of the spill. According to them, the oil spill threatened 39 marine species which include 14 federally protected animals.

In the publication, it stated that threatened species ranged from ‘whale sharks to seagrass’. The report highlighted the impact of the oil spill in the animal food chain. Researchers claimed that a break in the food chain can affect the rest of the animals. 

· The oil spill affected eight US National Park and more than 400 animal species including the endangered turtle species. Affected species of turtles include green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle and Kemp’s Ridley turtle.

· At least 34,000 birds are at risk to perish which include pelicans, gulls, roseate spoonbills, egrets, terns and blue herons. 

·  The spill affected 8,332 species, including 1,500 crustaceans, 1,400 mollusks, 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 29 marine mammals and 4 sea turtles.

· At least 900 bottlenose dolphins died or found stranded in the oil spill. 

· Loons, Birds exposed on Louisiana coast during the oil spill has a higher concentration of toxic oil in their blood. 

· Sperm whales that swam near the oil spill develop more DNA-damaging metals in their bodies compare in the past. Metals like chromium and nickel are present in their blood that can kill them. 

· The oyster and shrimp fisheries along the Louisiana coastline suffered the most after the oil spill disaster. Sadly, those fisheries have not yet recovered from the oil spill.


These are some of the devastating effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Since the disaster happened during mating and nesting season, it disrupts the usual pattern of migratory birds. Even with modern day technology, it still impossible to access it long term effects in the environment. 


Clean-up Operation and its Benefits




With all the environmental, economic, and political chaos BP Company did not leave unscathed. The federal judged approved a very hefty fine for the negligence of the company. 

· A settlement amounting to $20 billion remains as the largest environmental settlement in US history. This includes a $5.5 billion fine for violating the Clean Water Act and $ 8.8 billion for damaging the natural resource. 

· BP’s total of environmental damage reaches a staggering amount of $17.2 billion because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

· On top of the heavy fine, the federal government required BP to pay $500 million to fund independent research spreading to 10 years. The money will be put to use for research in the environment in the Gulf of Mexico.

· The independent research made in the Gulf already resulted in the discovery of more than 60 species of fish. 

· The money from the fine also helps fund the research of pioneering methods for managing the fish population in the Gulf of Mexico.

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wood map of the gulf of mexico with topographical elements