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The Gulf Oil Spill: 1 Year Later
By Delany Peshek, Grade 9

On April 20, 2010 the British Petroleum (BP) oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana Coast.  Immediately, the coastal areas of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida feared the worst.  Within a short period of time, it appeared that Texas would be spared from too much damage.  The water currents prevented much of the spill from going in that direction; however, the other states were anxiously preparing for what could be one of the worst disasters to ever strike the area.

At the time of the explosion, 11 workers on the rig died and 17 were injured.  BP stock fell 2% within the first week and 5% by June 2010.  This cost the company over 40 billion in total.  

The real hit, however, came to the economies and ecosystems of the coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico.  According to the National Wildlife Federation, 4.4 million barrels of oil rushed into the gulf in less than three months.  By May, the oil hit the shores of Louisiana and all along the Gulf coast; where there were reports of oil coated birds, sea turtles covered in oil, and dying sea coral.  For many months, fish, shrimp and other seafood were no longer able to be fished off the coast, and beaches were closed to visitors because of oil contaminated waters.

Fortunately, hundreds of volunteers were quickly at the scene removing oil from the shores and cleaning the oil covering surviving wildlife.  In the water, boats pulled oil booms behind them as they skimmed the oil from the surface.  On the shore, DAWN dish detergent was a prime ingredient for removing oil off bird feathers and turtles.  (Depending on the size of the birds, it takes 45 minutes and 300 gallons of water to do a thorough washing.)

Now, one year from the disaster relief efforts are still in effect.  Currently, scientists and marine biologists are working to rebuild ecosystems as they continue to rehabilitate injured wildlife.  Every day, people enlist to help out in the recovery and help donate to support the cause.  You can find out how you can help at: http://www.nwf.org/Volunteer/Find-Opportunities/Gulf-Coast-Surveillance.aspx .

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/29/bp-oil-spill-timeline-deepwater-horizon
http://www.nwf.org/en/Oil-Spill/Effects-on-Wildlife.aspx
http://www.binscorner.com/pages/d/deepwater-horizon-oil-reaches-louisiana-.html
http://www.fpnetwork.org/oilspill.php
http://www.ibrrc.org/oil_affects.html

Sierra
5/4/2011

Great article, Delany!<3

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Nana
5/4/2011

Very good Delany!! I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work. Love you, Nana

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Shelby Higdon
5/5/2011

Good job, Delany! I loved your article. :)

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Delany Peshek
5/6/2011

Thanks everybody!!
God Bless!

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