How bad is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? How many species of animals, fish and fowl will be affected from the oil that is spewing into the waters of the Gulf?
Original estimates stated that the equivalent of 5,000 barrels of oil a day was leaking into the oceanic ecosystem. But, Larry Schweifer, president of the National Wildlife Federation, posited that this will be the worst ecological disaster in U. S. history. The difference between the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska is that it was a finite amount of oil not a gushing, seemingly endless tap of crude oil. It is sweet, light crude oil that will damage the plants and animals of the Gulf's ecosystem.
Many species will be affected and the oil will not only damage the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The oil will also damage the wetlands, and could work it's way into the Florida Keys and out into the Atlantic up the Eastern sea coast. Sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sea bird, and mussels, crab, oysters, and shrimp will be killed from the oil itself or the after effects of the oil. The after effects would be death to birds and larger fish that eat contaminated fish.
We won't know the effects of this disaster for many years, but this day, at this time it is threatening the livelihood of workers who work in the fishing industry and damaging fragile ecosystems. Are we doing everything possible to solve the problem? What else can we do?
Information was obtained from the following websites: