Eighty-five days, 16 hours, 25 minutes. That's how long oil had been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, until yesterday afternoon when it finally stopped. After nearly 184 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf, BP managed to stave off the oil by securely fastening a 75-ton containment cap over the well. BP will now wait 48 hours as engineers closely monitor the cap to ensure it doesn't develop a new leak.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has metastasized into the United State's worst environmental disaster. The spill has killed wildlife and damaged the ecosystems that reside in the Gulf region. As a result, the high numbers of wildlife affected from the oil spill has left scientists on Queen Bess Island, Louisiana scrambling to save creatures in need of medical attention. Pelicans and sea turtles have been two species widely affected as oil gushed into their habitats for over three months.
Though the spill has been capped, this is still only the first step in the recovery efforts for a region and its wildlife that have been altered forever.
"What we look for with the pelicans, if they have been diving into the
water, their heads are going to be that reddish-brown color, rusty kind of look. If all they're sporting nice white tops, then they're looking pretty healthy," Patti Holland, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
"The situation we have now is much improved over a month ago, when we got hit with oil real hard here. Now, we're still sending out our crews. We have about 14 boats that
go out on a daily basis here, but we're only bringing in three, four, maybe five
oiled birds per day and finding perhaps three to five dead carcasses that we
also bring in for future use." Tom Mackenzie, spokesman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1. Name three states that border the Gulf of Mexico.
2. What animals have been most affected by the oil spill?
3. In what ways does oil affect these animals?
1. According to the video, how do scientists decipher which animals need immediate attention?
2. As the oil spill has finally seized in the Gulf, how do you envision the livelihoods of animals five years from now?
3. Study the Exxon-Valdez Oil spill from 1989 and compare-and-contrast it to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.