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Oil spill endangers wildlife

Petty Officer 2nd Class John Miller www.fema.gov

Shelby Rowe, staff writer

On April 20, a fire broke out on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig 50 miles from the shore of Louisiana. Out of 126 crew members, 11 did not escape the fire-engulfed rig that eventually sank to the bottom of the ocean floor. Gallons of oil are constantly leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, making this the biggest oil spill in American history.

“It’s a tragedy,” Oceans teacher Mr. Simon said. “It’s a high cost of living and operating like we do in this country and it’s not surprising.”

Since April 20, more than nine million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. Cost guards have stated that the leak rate could possibly be more than 20,000 barrels a day. Even a month after the disaster, BP (the oil company responsible for the spill) has failed to contain the damaging oil spill.

“[BP] could have been safer and could have invested more time and money into drilling,” Simon said. “They kept pumping instead of being safe and took the risk. Hopefully they learn.”

BP’s latest attempt to stop the spill is to inject a high pressure of mud to plug the leak, but unfortunately the attempt failed. With lack of help from BP, officials of Jefferson Parish took matters into their own hands. 33 boats and crew members joined together to lay boom and skimming oil.

“I don’t think BP is putting enough effort into stopping the oil spill,” Junior Alex Klemroth said. “They need to do everything they can to stop the spill immediately.”

On May 21, oil began to reach the wetlands of Louisiana and now oil currently invades 70 miles of Louisiana coastline. Oil, with the texture of latex pain, is clogging the marshes in the Mississippi delta that settles as a home for birds; thus, leaving hundreds of birds dead.

“It’s frustrating that people are trying to find out who is at fault for the spill rather than cleaning it up,” Sophomore Mackenzie Guerre said. “They need to stop the spill before more of the coastline and animals are destroyed.”

The oil affects sea bird’s ability to fly, ruins animals respiratory and reproductive systems, injures eyes and causes organ and tissue damage. Plants and plankton are being killed, which affects the whole food chain for all animals. Endangered animal’s lives, such as sea turtles and bluefin tuna, are currently being threatened and destroyed from the oil spill.

To help animals suffering from the oil spill, log onto greatergood.org/oilspillrelief to donate money to help with the oil spill recovery. To volunteer to clean up the oil spill and monitor the coastline for wildlife in need, log onto nwf.org to sign up.

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