Oil slick hits Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana

One of the world's worst man-made environmental disasters

Most environmental disasters--hurricanes, earthquakes, or wildfires--lie largely beyond human control. But some of the world’s most lethal calamities have been caused at the hands of people. The pursuit of more (and more efficient forms of) energy, food, and building materials have depleted parts of the globe. The effects of things like overfishing and coal and ash spills are assessed quickly, but the longer-term impacts often permanently threaten the livelihood of the world’s ecosystems and the human populations that depend on them.

An oil slick near the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana in May 2010. The Gulf of Mexico spill, already deemed worse than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, may be the worst environmental disaster the U.S. has ever faced.

The well blew open on April 20 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. It has been spewing an estimated 200000 gallons a day in the nations biggest oil spill since the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents announced on Thursday that they found two dead gannets, possibly killed by oil from the spill, while patrolling closed fishing grounds Wednesday near Grand Gosier Island, between the Chandeleurs and Breton Island in Plaquemines Parish. Agents confirmed the seabirds were covered in oil. They were turned over to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials in Venice, who will determine the cause of death.

Workers will collect as much of the free-flowing oil as possible on the west side of the islands with oil booms and skimmers, and use water to wash any remaining oil off the vegetation
In addition, Huge Department of Defense C-130 cargo planes continued spraying dispersant chemicals across the oil slick, while BP contractors sprayed similar dispersants at the oil escaping from two leaks a mile below the surface.

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.~Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958

The environment is fundamentally connected to everything we need as human beings to survive. If we disrupt the temperature balance and precipitation patterns of our current environment, it will make it more difficult to grow food leading to the starvation of millions more and the extiction of animals.

By:Jolene Lim Qi 10A05

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