Categorized | Marine Mammals

BP Oil Spill Stil Having Effects on Marine Life

The marine life in the Gulf of Mexico is still suffering from the British Petroleum oil spill of 2010. Maria Abaca discusses the effects of the spill nearly three years later.

Even though the oil spill off of the Gulf of Mexico was nearly three years ago, the marine ecosystem hasn’t recovered, nor has it shown signs of significant progress. It was reported recently by the Huffington Post that dolphins and sea turtles are still dying in huge numbers due to the more than 200 million gallons of oil still lingering in their habitat.

Although the number of sea turtle and dolphin deaths has decreased since the original 2010 oil spill, the numbers are still way above average, according to representatives from the National Wildlife Federation. There have been very high incidences of dolphin “strandings,” which are dolphins that wash up on the shore after having been stranded in shallow water.

The fact that dolphins are at the top of the food chain in the Gulf ecosystem is a strong indication that there is something wrong, according to researchers.

There is continuing litigation against British Petroleum and the subcontractors involved in the explosion upon the Deepwater Horizon rig that resulted in eleven deaths and the catastrophic spilling of millions of gallons of oil miles underneath the sea. A report on the after effects of the spill was drawn up by National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, which is being used in the trial. The responsibility for the disaster will be determined, and 80 percent of the fines paid by the responsible parties will be divided amongst the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Alabama.

The catastrophic environmental damage has yet to be fully realized. While the tangible results of the oil spill have largely diminished (the globs of oil on the beach; birds covered in black sludge), the sea floor is still coated with oil, which can cause environmental distress for decades to come. The food sources for much of the sea-life have been killed, which will naturally affect the food chain. Additionally, the current has been distributing the oil to other regions, affecting the marine environment well beyond the Gulf.

We at Animal Support want to encourage everyone to learn more about the great work that organizations such as Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) are doing to save the Gulf’s marine mammals, as well as the beach clean ups and the Gulf community outreach events. We cannot forget the damage that was done in the Gulf; just because it hasn’t been widely reported doesn’t mean that everything is fine. Complacency will all but guarantee that not only will the Gulf ecosystem fail to improve, but that an environmental catastrophe of the magnitude Deepwater explosion will surely happen again.

By Maria Abaca

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Maria Abaca, RN

Maria Abaca is a RN (Registered Nurse) and founder of the Animal Support non-profit organization, which assists in the promotion of animal advocacy campaigns and builds awareness for animal well-being.

Maria Abaca, RN graduated from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing. Maria is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing, focusing on Nursing Administration.

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