Environmental Disaster

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Environmental Disaster
Who would have known that on April 20th 2010, the United States would soon be facing the worst environmental disaster. On that fateful day, an offshore oilrig named the “Deepwater Horizon” suffered an explosion. Seventeen people were injured and eleven people died from the accident. The damaged oilrig sank into the Gulf of Mexico the next day, and a one-by-five mile oil slick appeared in the ocean. At the time, it was unknown whether the oil was from the rig or if the underwater oil well was leaking. The BP oil company soon realized the well, which is five thousand feet below the surface, was gushing oil at a rate of thirty-five thousand to sixty thousand barrels a day. The Gulf region is in a state of emergency because tourism, wildlife, jobs, and the environment are going to take catastrophic hits.

Tourism in the cities on the Gulf are hurting severely because of the oil spill. Tourists visit those cities for their sugar-sand beaches and their great seafood restaurants. However, the sugar-sand beaches are coated with oil and the seafood restaurants have closed down because of the lack of seafood. In Biloxi, Mississippi nine miles of beaches are nearly empty at a time when local residents say bathers and vendors typically swarm the sands (Wall Street Journal). In Florida, tourism is one of the top money-making industries. Furthermore, if oil hits the beaches of Pensacola that could in turn hurt Miami’s tourism. People can change and fix what is being done on the Gulf; however, wildlife cannot. There are many species of animals that live in and out of the water and are in danger from the oil spill. Animals have no idea about ingesting oil or how to run away from danger. Birds will usually ingest the oil through their feathers, causing kidney damage or irritation in their digestive tract. Since they have used a dispersant to break the oil up, the oil then sinks and the fish or other marine life think it is food....
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