Oil Spills

Deadly and Destructive

What are Oil Spills?

An oil spill is an unintentional release of crude oil or refined oil products into the environment. Oil spill is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters.

BP Oil Spill

The most devastating oil spill in U.S. history was the BP oil spill. Over 8,000 animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead just 6 months after the spill, including many that are already on the endangered species list. Immediate impact on the wildlife includes oil-coated birds and sea turtles, mammal ingestion of oil, and dead or dying deep sea coral.

What can I do to help?

With the increasing oil needs of the advancing world, oils spills are becoming more and more common. As a civilian there is not much you can do to prevent oil spills, BUT you can help clean up and recover when they do happen.

Do's and Don'ts

  • DO: Donate funds. The National Wildlife Federation is seeking donations in any amount to help preserve the many species that are threatened by spills. The Environmental Defense Fund also needs funds so its emergency response team can continue working.
  • DON'T: Boycott BP gas stations. While it may make you feel better to spend your money elsewhere, you're not hurting BP — you're hurting local station owners. BP isn't exactly stepping up to help its retailers weather the storm of public outcry, and many of these business owners are already squeaking by on extremely slim profit margins.
  • DO: Reduce your oil consumption. Oil is everywhere in our homes, including the places you'd least expect — cosmetics, paint and cleaning products. Cutting back may just be one of the most powerful ways you can make a difference.

Works Cited

"11 Facts about the BP Oil Spill." Do Something. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Habjanec, Davor. "Interesting Energy Facts." Oil Spill Facts -. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Rogers, Stephanie. "MNN - Mother Nature Network." MNN - Mother Nature Network. N.p., 7 June 2010. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.