Unless you’ve been living alone underground since April with no TV, radio, internet or an iPad, you’ve probably heard about the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But just to be safe, here’s a quick re-cap:
On Tuesday April 20th, 2010 The Deepwater Horizon, an offshore drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana, exploded and burst into flames (the smoke stretched over 30 miles and could be seen from space!).
The rig eventually sank into the ocean and a few days later it was discovered that oil from the structure was gushing into the ocean. Things quickly went from bad, to worse. Much worse.
The company who owned the rig, British Petroleum (BP), tried a bunch of things to stop the leak but every effort failed. Experts also realized WAY more oil was leaking into the ocean than they first thought, up to 100,000 barrels a day!
BP finally found a way to contain some of the oil, but there is still some leaking out, not to mention the MILLIONS of gallons of oil that have already escaped. While BP, the US government, and experts try to find solutions, other people are racing to save the wildlife, including pelicans, dolphins, and endangered sea turtles.
Earth Rangers wanted to know what YOU thought about the oil spill, so we asked! Here’s what we heard:
“Can you believe that oil spill that happened in the states?”
“i wanted to cry the first time i saw it”
“Has anyone heard anymore news about the clean up of the oil spill??”
“I wish it would stop! i read in the newspaper that its one of the biggest environmental catastrophies ever”
“I dont think the earth will ever be the same.”
Unfortunately, Ranger Awesome is right, this is an oil disaster of epic proportions and is now worse than the EXXON Valdez spill of 1989 that spilled over 10 million gallons of oil off the coast of Alaska.
“Oil spills are one of the worst things ever that can happen! If there’s an oil spill, and it gets into the water, ducks come to the pond and if they get oil on themselves, it’ll be difficult to fly or maybe they won’t be able to fly at all! Do what you can to prevent oil spills!!”
“oil spills are awful when will we stop hurting the earth”
“I saw on the news that the oil spill is still around! it stays around for a really long time”
“Oil is really bad! I think we should power all of our appliances with hope!!! p.s. it really does work”
Eco – animal man
“I think that in order to stop oil spills, we need to stop using oil and gas! If we reduce the demand for oil then they will stop making it! That’s the best way to stop oil spills.”
Millions of birds and hundreds of species call the Gulf of Mexico’s coast home. In fact, it’s one of the richest natural areas in the world, with millions of acres of marsh, swamp, forests and islands. When oil hits an area like this, it wreaks havoc. Birds and other animals become coated in oil, or poisoned by the oil-coated species they eat. It will take many generations before Gulf ecosystems can even begin to recover.
But, there is hope. Like you, millions of people are upset about this and want to do something about it. Wildlife specialists are doing everything they can to help species in the area, and experts are working around the clock to figure out how to stop the leak.
Although the crisis is thousands of miles away and you can’t help rescuers clean wildlife that is covered in oil, you can still help!
- Here’s the numero uno thing you can do: Use less oil and other “fossil fuels.”
- Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.
- Walk, bike, skate or run to your destinations instead of always depending on your parents to drive you.
- Buy local food to decrease the amount of miles a truck will have to drive to get it to you.
Start a walking school bus!
- Find out if there is anyone in your city or town collecting hair to send to the Gulf coast to help soak up the oil. These two girls from Ottawa started doing it all on their own!
- Brainstorm creative solutions! This 11-year-old from the US has raised thousands of dollars for oil spill relief efforts by selling her bird paintings.