There have been many oil spills in the ocean, some big and some small. All of these oil spills have had a huge effect on the wildlife in the ocean. The oil from the oil rig stays on the surface of the water because oil is less dense than the water, nevertheless this causes the oil to just float cause it can’t go anywhere else and it won’t mix in with the water. This is harmful in so many different ways to the life in the ocean.
The first thing oil does is preventing sunlight from penetrating the surface, which can cause it to be dark under the surface. This can effect the plants in the ocean. Oil made coral reproduction more difficult. Larvae of the corals attached to mature corals at much slower rates after being exposed to the oils. Saltwater marshes and mangroves were both affected by the oil spills also.
The oil also can cover thousands of birds, mammals, and sea turtles. When birds land in the water they become covered in oil. Consequently the oil ruins the insulating and waterproofing properties of the fur and feathers, and without feathers and fur the birds can die from hypothermia.
Animals in the ocean can also become intoxicated from the oil. In 2013 there was a study in Louisiana on dolphins, that found about half of them were very sick. They suffered from lung and adrenal disorders that are known to be caused from being exposed to oil. By the end of 2015, there were about 1,400 whales and dolphins found stranded.
Oil spills, as you can see, can be very harmful to the wildlife in the ocean and the environment. We need to prevent these oil spills as much as possible. If we are able to prevent these oil spills or clean them up we could save many wildlife.
How can we prevent these oil spills?
How can we clean up the oil spills after they have happened?
How can we save the animals that have already been affected by the oil spill?