Both surfa… In general, oil spills can affect animals and plants in two ways: from the oil itself and from the response or cleanup operations. There were some immediate impacts to the animals of the Gulf of Mexico that could be seen with the naked eye: pelicans black with oil, fish belly-up in brown sludge, smothered turtles washed up on beaches. The consequences of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico extended beyond the 11 fatalities and 17 injuries suffered that day. However this method causes a large amount of air pollution and can get out of control very easily, spreading the fire to other areas. The overall cost and challenge of cleaning up an oil spill is enormous. Through the use of the clean-up methods just mentioned, oil may look like it is gone but in fact it can persist in the environment for decades. Valuable fishing areas maybe closed down for any period of time if an oil spill occurs. The fishing industry can be heavily affected by an oil spill. Oceanic oil spills became a major environmental problem in the 1960s, chiefly as a result of intensified petroleum exploration and production on continental shelves and the use of supertankers capable of transporting more than 500,000 metric tons of oil. Despite massive clean-up efforts following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, for example, a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 26,000 gallons of oil were still trapped in the sand along the Alaska shoreline. Scientists conducting the study determined that residual oil was declining at less than four percent annually. That spill is considered the most infamous oil spill in U.S. history -- although the 2010 BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico proved to be even worse, surpassing Exxon Valdez in scale. Oil spills can coat the feathers of birds, making flying impossible and removing the natural insulation and waterproofing the feathers provide. NOAA: How Oil Harms Animals and Plants in Marine Environments. The impact of oil spills can also ruin the infrastructure and economy of a particular area with the long-term effects being felt for decades. “Understanding Oil Spills And Oil Spill Response.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Oil spills can also affect human health. How spilled oil affects near-surface creatures depends on when and where the oil spills—those creatures might or might not even be in the area at the location and time of a spill. Oil Spills Affect Fish. “Effects of Petroleum Exposure on Birds: A Review.” Science of The Total Environment, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142834. Mississippi River reopened after oil spill. Mousse resembles food for a number of animals and also attracts certain curious birds and marine life. Ecological impact of oil spills on the aquatic animals depends on the location of the oil spills and also on the sensitivity of the local organisms to oil pollution. One drawback with this system is that a number of bacteria are created which break down the hydrocarbons. 7 Long-Term Effects Of The Gulf Oil Spill (PHOTOS) Travis Walter Donovan. Preventing oil spills and using environmentally-friendly oil spill cleaners, rather than other toxic products will help a great deal in minimizing the impact of an oil spill. Over time, oil waste weathers (deteriorates) and disi… On a basic level, oil spill effects will damage waterways, marine life and plants and animals on the land. [Ari Labadi/Al Jazeera] Exxon Valdez oil spill: Find out what our team of marine biologists has learned about the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill on the plants and animals of Prince William Sound, Alaska. He is the author of four books, two movies and a play as well as numerous articles for "Scientific American," The History Channel, City Pages and "The Onion." One preferred method is the introduction of microorganisms that cause the oil to herd to the surface and turn into an almost gel-like substance. Prevailing weather conditions will also influence the oil’s physical characteristics and its behaviour. Direct impacts can include contamination of the boats and gear used in catching or cultivating marine species. Following an oil spill, there are specialists and veterinarians to deal with oiled wildlife. “Plan for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Injury Restoration: An Overview.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Persian Gulf oil spill, the worst oil spill in history, caused the release of between 5 and 10 million barrels of oil (as much as 300 million gallons) into the Persian Gulf in 1991. This can affect organisms both from internal exposure to oil through ing… The After Effects of Oil Spill in Guimaras, Philippines Rolando A. Alimen | Ma. Our understanding of oil toxicity has expanded by studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This affects the marine animals as there is less oxygen in water. This can make the entire ecosystem uninhabitable for years. Efforts are under way to keep the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from reaching birds, mammals and critical shoreline habitats, but some marine biologists worry about the effects of the oil slick and the use of chemical dispersants on life underwater. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. 2015. Position paper on effects of acute oil spills. Part of the oil waste may sink with suspended particulate matter, and the remainder eventually congeals into sticky tar balls. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: How Much Oil Remains? U.S. Department of the Interior. 216-223.,  doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.07.003, King, M. D., et al. 94, 2015, pp. In general, oil spills can affect animals and plants in two ways: from the oil itself and from the response or cleanup operations. "d13C and d15N in deep-living fishes and shrimps after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico." The damage is hard to measure and contain, since it can effect complex ecosystems and spread if introduced to underground water. An oil spill could have potentially disastrous effects on land. Understanding both types of impacts can help spill responders minimize overall impacts to ecological communities and help them to recover much more quickly. Due to water pollution, immunity of the marine animals reduces leading to its death. Other factors include what kind of exposure and how much exposure there was. Factors such as oil-biodegradation, ocean currents and response measures (dispersants, burning) reduced coastal o … Oil spills have major environmental and economic effects. The general ways to clean up an oil spill are varied and cause their own environmental effects. 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