One of the primary causes of oil spilling into marine environments in an oil spill is people who are careless or make mistakes, according to the Office of Response and Restoration. Such incidents involve barrages, tankers, refineries, pipelines and storage facilities. Other causes include equipment breakdowns, natural disasters and deliberate acts, such as terrorism, war, vandalism or illegal dumping.Continue Reading
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council lists several reasons that this tanker ran aground in March 1989. They are all acts of carelessness or human mistakes. While tests showed the captain of the Valdez to have alcohol in his system several hours after the accident, the state of Alaska found him not guilty of operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol.
As oil floats on the ocean, it spreads rapidly across the surface to form an oil slick. Eventually, it spreads to form a very thin layer, known as a sheen, with a rainbow-like appearance. Oil spills are harmful to fish, shellfish, birds and marine animals. The oil affects the ability of fur and feathers to repel water and insulate the animals from the elements. Oil is also toxic to animals that ingest it in attempts to clean themselves.
While the Exxon Valdez spill is no longer among the largest 50 oil spills, it affected 1,300 miles of shoreline. Marine biologists estimate it to have killed 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters and 22 killer whales, according to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.Learn more about Pollution
Kids are increasingly aware of events that impact the world they live in, especially damaging and debilitating occurrences such as oil spills. When kids want to know facts, they need those facts delivered in a way they can understand. History, numbers and animals affected are great places for kids' learning to be piqued.Full Answer >
KidzWorld explains that oil spills occur when people cause an oil tanker, a ship that carries oil from one place to another, to leak oil into the sea. Carelessness in maneuvering oil tankers typically causes an oil spill. Illegal dumpers also dump crude oil into the ocean to avoid spending money on decomposing their waste oil.Full Answer >
Environmental remediation is the removal of contaminants from soil, water, air or sediment, typically after a spill or other industrial accident. Remediation removes the toxic materials, allowing the affected area to become habitable and safe again. For instance, a nuclear accident may leave small radioactive particles mixed in with soil and water that can threaten health and life if not filtered out and removed.Full Answer >
Acid rain affects animals by changing the pH of their environments. The increased acidity causes anatomical changes, reduces the population of some organisms and may affect reproduction in some species.Full Answer >