WASHINGTON – Oceana report alert folks. For Oceana released a new report titled “Time for Action: Six Years After Deepwater Horizon.” One that highlights the long-term impacts of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. All which began six years ago next week. In the report, Oceana reviews the most recently published research that documents the damage from the oil spill to the Gulf of Mexico’s marine wildlife. As well as it’s habitats and communities.
Certainly scientists are still working to understand the scale of the devastation. That’s to wildlife, fisheries and human health. Leading the charge is Oceana marine scientist Dr. Ingrid Biedron. She says that we are already starting to see the long-term impacts of the spill.
“Increased mortality rates and diminished reproductive success can have long-term effects on marine mammal populations. Especially those impacted by the spill. But instead of learning from the disaster, Congress has done virtually nothing. Especially to reduce the risk of another spill in U.S. waters.”
Mortality rates for common bottlenose dolphins living in Barataria Bay, Louisiana were 8 percent higher. Furthermore, their reproductive success rate was 63 percent lower. Especially compared to other dolphin populations.
An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 birds died as a result of the spill.Harmful oil and/or oil dispersant chemicals were found in about 80 percent of pelican eggs. All that were laid in Minnesota, more than 1,000 miles from the Gulf. Especially where most of these birds spend winters.
In addition, oil exposure caused heart failure in juvenile bluefin and yellowfin tunas. All reducing swimming ability in juvenile mahi-mahi. In addition and caused gill tissue damage in killifish.The oil plume caused bleaching and tissue loss. Especially in deep-water coral reefs over an area three times larger than Manhattan.
Endangered Sea Turtles
Endangered sea turtles that had migrated to the Gulf from Mexico. Also South America and West Africa died in the spill. This is demonstrating the global scale of impacts.The 50,000 people involved in the spill cleanup were exposed to chemicals. All that severely damage lung tissue.
It also seems that cleanup workers and their spouses reported increased depression. More over they also have had domestic disputes.Even Gulf residents indirectly affected by the spill suffered. I mean all from increased anxiety and depression.
It can take a decade or more for oil spill victims to recover. Especially from the physical and psychological effects of an oil disaster.The impact of the oil spill on fisheries could total $8.7 billion by 2020. That’s including the loss of 22,000 jobs. As well as 10 million user-days of beach. You know, just fishing and boating were gone.
Despite the recent decision to protect the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling, the government has proposed new lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. In addition, seismic airgun blasting is still being pursued. That’s in an area twice the size of California. Consequently stretching from Delaware to Florida.
Seismic Airgun Blasting
Last month, Oceana released a new set of maps that show the threat of seismic airgun blasting to important marine ecosystems off the East Coast. Specifically, the maps depict the overlap between current seismic airgun permit application areas in the Atlantic and known habitats. Those are the for at-risk turtles, whales and sharks. In addition, commercially and recreationally important fish species.
Last year, 75 leading marine scientists sent a letter to President Obama on the impacts of seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, stating that “the magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which approximately only 500 remain.”
To read the report and learn more about Oceana’s campaign, please visit www.Oceana.org/TimeForAction.