Reflection Paper on Gulf Oil Spill

Topics: Coral reef, Coral, Cnidaria Pages: 2 (641 words) Published: October 21, 2012
Reflection Paper on Gulf Oil Spill

This presentation had a deep impact on me because I had been living in Gulf Breeze, Florida at the time of the spill. Gulf Breeze is located 15 miles West of Pensacola and the reefs and beaches were severely impacted by it. Not only did the spill impact the environment but also the tourism which that city needed to thrive; in turn businesses closed and restaurants plundered. When I looked outside my bedroom window at the ocean, instead of seeing the bright blue colored ocean waves, I instead looked out at green murky foam covered waves and algae blooms. The sand got covered in black oil and impacted the sea birds that used the splashing waves to gather small fish and organisms. So, when I listened to this presentation, I could relate to what the presenter was saying because I had witnessed firsthand how badly this affected the environment, but at the time I did not realize how it affected the reefs.

What I found interesting about the presentation was the before and after pictures. He had mentioned that the scientists used autonomous underwater vehicles that took high resolution map images of reefs that were 400-500 meters underwater (beforehand didn’t even realize some reefs were there). These images were used to help scientists take data on finding new coral sites and witness the affects the oil spill had on them. He mentioned at first they didn’t think the corals were being affected because pictures showed that the corals looked the same as they did last year. At this time scientists were more concerned with marine animals and shorelines than the reefs. At second look even the corals looked fine, and scientists took lots of samples to see if the oil had reached the sites. A sediment trap was used to research the corals and the research showed that plankton filled the cups and that oil had made its way to the coral sites but that it had not affected them. What I learned was that, oil coming out of a well was 100*C, this...
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