BP Oil

The BP oil spill was one of the worst environmental disasters of our time. The Deepwater Horizon blowout leaked oil for 87 days and the total leakage has been estimated at 4.9 million barrels. This not only hurt the environment, but also the economy taking away millions of gallons of our oil. This topic had a huge impact on the biodiversity of the Gulf of Mexico, putting hundreds of more animals and plants of the endangered species list.

We chose this topic because we wanted to deliver the immediate impacts this had on the environment. Immediate impacts were 8,000 birds, sea turtles, and marine animals found dead in a few months after the spill. Oil coated bird feathers, mammals could have ingested oil, sea turtles were covered in oil, and dead and dying deep-sea corals.

We also chose this topic because of the long-term impacts a careless act can have. The oil is not visible anymore on the surface, but researchers are still finding it on the floor and in wetlands and beaches. In there areas it will persist for years. It will take a few more years to be sure of its effects, which makes a restoration plan difficult.

The spill could lead to unbalanced food chains, because the spill happened in the middle of the breeding season for many species. It could also lead to decreased wildlife and fish populations. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, it wasn’t until 4 years later where a herring population collapsed, and still has not recovered 20 years later. The last thing it could lead to is a decline in recreation. With the waters being filled with remnants of oil, people will not come to fish there, hurting the economy of commercial fisheries and parks. This presentation should take about 7-9 minutes. Including a short video of how much the area has changed.