Oil Spill in Gulf risks entire food chain

The catastrophic explosion that caused an oil spill from a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico has reached the shoreline.The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to remain about 30 miles offshore, based on an analysis of ocean currents and weather patterns.An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was one of the greatest fears When the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank. The oil spill started after an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, an offshore drilling platform ran by Transocean for BP.  This caused the platform to capsize and an oil head to rupture.  For many days now, estimates point to somewhere around 200,000 gallons of crude oil are being poured into the waters of the Gulf.

Day by day, scientists in boats tally up dead birds, sea turtles and other animals, but the toll is surprisingly small given the size of the disaster.Past studies suggest that oil drenched birds have a high death rate.Many people don’t realize all the animals in the ocean that oil spills affect. When hundreds of plankton die because of oil, that specie of animal may become extinct. Then, fish won’t be able to eat the plankton, so they will become extinct. A killer whale could then become extinct because it can’t eat the fish. The oil spills can damage the entire food chain in the area.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange and troubling phenomena. Fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast. The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen.Sperm whales are the only endangered marine mammals in the upper Gulf of Mexico and NOAA scientists have been worried about the effects of oil and dispersants being used to break up the oil on the animals.

BP has agreed to set up a 20—billion—dollar fund to compensate local Gulf Coast businesses that have been devastated by the ongoing oil spill. BP also announced it would cancel all dividend payments to shareholders this year as it works to clean up the worst oil disaster in US history. The public demands that something be done to save animals, Seabirds and re-store entire food chain . It’s heart-wrenching—you see this totally oil-covered animal. The only way you can see that they’re alive is that their little eye blinks.

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