conservation, wildlife

Currently on Tuesday: just your average ecological crisis

As a country that is largely dependent on oil, it is no surprise that sometimes we end up with mistakes, mishaps, and maybe even a crisis that involves the stuff. One of these crises that is unfortunately, no surprise is when there is an oil spill. I never liked the term oil “spill”, it makes it seem so minor. You might as well call it an oil “oopsie” or “slip-up”, but what it really is is 105,000 gallons of crude oil pouring onto land and into water.

Getting back on track here, the spill happened just north of Santa Barbra, California. Only a fifth of the oil made its way into open ocean. Ya know, it’s really not so bad only 21,000 gallons of oil is now suffocating the wildlife in the ocean.

FUN FACT: scientists estimate that up to 85% of the oxygen on this planet is produced by a little plant called “phytoplankton” that floats at the top of the oceans surface (where the oil is sitting)

This section of previously undisturbed beach was even noted for it’s incredible biodiversity of plants, birds, fish, mammals, etc. I shouldn’t say previously undisturbed as this was also part of the site of the historic 1969 spill, where 3 million gallons tortured the ecology and wildlife.

The immediate ramifications are obvious: cute animals covered in oil get cleaned up, oil is raked out of sandy beaches, and the ocean is skimmed like fat off of gravy. However, the long term effects can include oil sinking to the ocean bottom on a hot day and choking out the corals and marine plants that thrive there.

The good news is, is that the company already has about 20% of the oil recovered. And cleanup efforts will continue until their wrong has been righted. The take home message is that we all need to be responsible for our environment and our impact on it. Reducing your impact on the planet is not only good for you, your fellow Earth dwellers, but also future generations. Stay informed, stay eco-friendly, and stay fabulous.

photo courtesy of NBC news

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