When the #BP #Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing eleven men and spilling millions of gallons of oil until it was capped on July 15, 2010, everyone was glued to the TV. People couldn’t stop talking about the explosion and its impacts on the environment and the animals who lived there. As time passed, however, people assumed that the danger had passed and things were going back to normal; they did not realize the negative impacts on the wildlife as a result of the spill had only just begun.
During the six months following the spill alone, 8,000 birds, sea turtles and other marine mammals were killed, injured, or otherwise negatively impacted. The images of oil coated birds and turtles immediately following the explosion were powerful, but wildlife are still suffering and oil continues to pollute the Gulf floor even though the surface appears clean. Like an iceberg, the real danger is in what you can’t easily see.
While the oil spill was bad enough, the clean up efforts actually did the opposite of clearing up the situation. One particular oil dispersant used to contain the spill is HALLIBURTON’S Corexit 9500; the 1.84 million gallons of dispersant used across 305 square miles likely damaged the gills of marine life, specifically zebrafish and blue crabs. Actual microbes which eat up oil were declined in favor of Cheney’s #Halliburton chemicals, which made things worse.
In 2014 for example, dolphins were found dead at four times the normal rate on the Louisiana coast; these deaths were likely connected to the oil spill. Oil exposure in general is causing abnormal development in fish, as well as overall population and spawning decline. This damage may well continue for decades to come.
Immediately after the #oil spill there were many volunteer opportunities to help clean up, but these opportunities are not as plentiful now that much of the surface work has been completed. There is still a lot to be done, though. One option is to contact your local and national representatives to encourage them to hold those responsible accountable and force them to pay for what they’ve done both legally and financially.