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Oil Spills are Harming our Animals

Alexia, Staff Writer


According to the Office of Response and Restoration, “The pollution of marine habitats has caught the attention of researchers and environmentalists. This is due to the serious impact of oil spills on marine life, as well as on people whose career relies on the exploitation of the sea’s resources.” This is what researchers are saying about the increase of oil spills in our oceans. The contamination has caused damage to the habitats of the marine ecosystem causing many species to become extinct.


Researchers at National Geographic have discovered that when oil is spilled in the ocean it can infect the food that marine life consumes daily. Plankton is one of those foods that are consumed daily. When plankton becomes contaminated with oil animals will eat the plankton that is infected and it will then result in animals being affected by the toxic chemicals. This then becomes a domino effect of everyone and everything becoming contaminated with oil.


Studies at Science Direct have found that oil spills haven’t been the only problem that many ecosystems are facing, they are also under pressure due to climate change as well. So there is a more likely chance that animals will be harmed or could possibly experience a decline in their population and their home could be destroyed. If an animal’s home is destroyed, they wander around trying to look for a new home. Since they are going into a new location they don’t know where they will find food and it could then lead to them starving and possibly dying if food is not found fast enough. As the years go by the number of oil spills will grow and cause critical damage to many factors of the ecosystem.


The Office of Response and Restoration has reported that one of the many species that have been affected by oil spills is sea turtles. Sea turtles are unable to be underwater for long periods of time they eventually have to come up to the surface to breathe. So when oil is floating in the ocean and sea turtles come up to the surface, they can inhale the toxic chemicals. Sea turtles can also face the chance of being covered in oil.


Oil spills have been increasing over the years contaminating our oceans and leaving marine life homeless and on the verge of extinction. If we don’t take action soon and help save our animals the entire marine ecosystem could be on the edge of falling apart.


Check out the short video up top that explains how an oil spill can threaten sea turtles and their habitat.



Emerging Pollutants in the Environment- Current and Further Implications