It’s been a year and a month since the Deep Horizon oil spill. While some have pushed it into the backs of their minds, others still worry about the long term damage the spill has caused. It may seem on the surface the water is clear, but it’s possible problems still lie beneath.
The Gulf ‘s health wasn’t in great shape before the spill either, it is a victim of human greed. There are other oil rigs and natural seepage, overfishing, and American farms and urban run-off cause massive dead zones because it’s absorbed from the Mississippi river. Louisiana State University professor and oil spill veteran, Ed Overton, now gives the Gulf the same grade as before the spill, but surprises keep coming and the long term effects are still worrisome.
Initially wildlife was thought to be ok, but in recent months the amount of dead animals washing on shore would say otherwise. Many dolphins, mostly young and even fetal, have washed up on the beaches. Nearly 300 of them, which makes it four times more than the “normal” amount. Sea turtles and young whales have also been seen washed up dead on beaches in Mississippi and Alabama. The sea turtles are endangered, and the amount washing up dead is seven times more than “normal.”
Though the clumps of oil and huge rainbow-colored slicks are not there anymore, scientists are still worried about what’s under the water. Georgia researcher Samantha Joye, found dead patches on the sea bottom near the well that are covered in oil. This will probably mean bottom dwelling animals will be most vulnerable to long-term effects. She has taken photos of crabs suffocated from oil and brittle starfish, which are usually bright orange, now pale and dead.
The Gulf still needs volunteers and wildlife help. It’s time to transition from rescue to restoration. Eco- system restoration is huge part, because the animals need clean and safe habitats to recuperate and thrive. Here is how you can help:
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