John Mark, seventh grader at South Plaquemines High School|
I think that this oil spill is a very big deal and it could affect the lives of people all over the country if it isn’t stopped soon. My dad fishes both as a guide and just for his own enjoyment and he is also concerned. Fishing is the main source of his money and he could have to find another job if the oil continues. He gave me a little info on the spill, how it happened, and a way other oil spills have been stopped.
He told me about how people fill up the holes that they drill with mud. He said this time the mud came out and all the pressure was released and it caused the oil to spill. He said that other spills have been stopped by drilling another well next to the one that spilled to help control the oil. The problem here is that this has never happened in 5,000 feet of water.
People say that drilling the other well could take three to six months. What I think they need to do is to stop stating the obvious and get to work. If this goes on much longer, it could be very, very bad. On the radio, people state a lot of their ideas on how to stop the oil and almost all of them get rejected. I think they need to try some of the ideas — as bad as the spill already is — because one of them may work. Plus, it really can’t get much worse.
One of the other problems is the oil damaging the wetlands. If the wetlands all get killed, we’ll have no hurricane protection, making us more vulnerable. That would just be bad.
I don’t think we need to stop offshore drilling because we need to get our own oil. America depends on other countries for oil, which isn’t helping us economically. If we stop offshore drilling, we’ll have no money at all. More people need to realize what offshore drilling does that is good, not just bad. People complain about wildlife, but don’t really care how much money they spend on oil. You know who does that? Hippies, that’s who.
So over all, I think the oil spill is a big deal. I think it needs to stop as soon as possible. The people that are in charge need to stop rejecting all the ideas and give them a try; after all, anything could happen. I mean, how much worse could the spill really get? A little exploration never hurt anyone except the teenagers in horror movies. So, just think about the spill for a while and you’ll see it how you want to. I can’t tell you what to think, but I can tell you what I think.
Alanna, seventh grader at South Plaquemines High School
Two weeks ago, the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew into flames. Eleven crew members went missing and to this day are still missing. Just days later the whole entire rig sank into the mighty Gulf of Mexico. Now, the whole country is burdened by the fact that more than 1.6 million gallons of oil has been spilled already. Due to that, everyone is worried about seafood loss, wildlife loss, and loss of the little wetlands that we still have.
About a week ago, President Barack Obama visited the Gulf coast and took a helicopter ride over the water to see the damage at a bird’s eye view. Even he said that this is a tragedy and that he will do his best to help out. To me, this is worst than Katrina and it needs to be handled with care. If something is not done right it could cause even more damage than what we already have.
I think offshore drilling is a necessity though because oil makes petroleum and petroleum makes the lights work, gives you plastic, etc. Some people believe it’s not good because it can be bad for the enviroment and bad for the fishing industry. But would you rather have lights and plastic and energy or fish? I understand it can hurt the fish and the industry, but things like this barely ever happen.
I’ve talked to some trawlers and fishermen that make a living off of trawling, shrimping, crawfishing, etc. They have been affected it by it severely. Due to this oil spill, they can’t go out on their jobs. Therefore, they can’t make money. But it does give people work because now, for example, my dad’s job is making more money because all of these cleanup companies are coming to get supplies so they can go and help. Now, over 100 people have applied for jobs to help clean up the oil, let people use their boats, and help clean the wildlife. My brother is one of those people; he wants to bring his boat out there to help clean up the oil. It’s really touching to see the community work together to help out something they all love.
To be truthful, I think BP and the government are doing a good job. But the only thing I didn’t like was when a week passed by and they just sat there and thought of plans and things they could do. Well, don’t just sit there and talk about what you’re going to do; get out there and stop this leak! Even if the plans don’t work, you still know that you tried and you can move on.
Well, for right now the oil is still leaking and a lot of areas are off limits, and no one can fish in some areas. Everyone is hard at work to try to help cleanup this big mess. But it’s not over and I think we can stop this leak!
Lesone, eighth grader at South Plaquemines High School
Not long ago there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We know accidents happen, but people’s lives and jobs are at stake because something went wrong and caused an explosion. This spill will hurt the Plaquemines Parish seafood industries, their animals, their marsh, and their drinking water.
First of all, the people who go out for fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters won’t be able to. Their boats will have no reason to leave the docks. Seafood from the Gulf will be at a low; seafood elsewhere will be at a high. I have some friends who will be affected by this.
The next thing that will be affected is the animals. The ducks will have to be cleaned up with Dawn dish liquid and sent off to be taken care of. The pelicans will not survive without food and water. The turtles will die. Any animals that get oil on them may not have a chance to live if they are not caught early.
Another situation is the marsh. If the oil reaches the marsh, that means no more hurricane protection. The ground will erode. The marsh is also where some of our animals live. If it reaches the marsh, we will have to spend lots of money to plant it back.
Last but not least is our drinking water. The oil can contaminate our filters. The drinking water would have to be tested for purity. It can delay us for cooking, so many restaurants would have to close down.
When all is said and done, the oil spill will have cost trillions of dollars. Still, the people of Plaquemines Parish have gone through other disasters. All in all, there should be some type of precaution on land to shut off a leaking valve in the area of an exploding rig. We need to do something to never let this happen again.