Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, 2001. That spill is considered the most infamous oil spill in U.S. history -- although the 2010 BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico proved to be even worse, surpassing Exxon Valdez in scale. Oil spills can also affect human health. Oil spills are harmful to marine birds and mammals as well as fish and shellfish. In 2010, for example, after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, more than 5,000 … The environmental effects of The BP oil spill as measured thus far are already more dynamic than anything ever seen before in US history. Oceanic oil spills became a major environmental problem in the 1960s, chiefly as a result of intensified petroleum exploration and production on continental shelves and the use of supertankers capable of transporting more than 500,000 metric tons of oil. In general, oil spills can affect animals and plants in two ways: from the oil itself and from the response or cleanup operations. Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. Yet small oil spills and leaks, such as a damaged jet ski, leaking motorboat, illegally dumped quarts of motor oil, or runoff from road pollution can be just as deadly to birds and other wildlife. Oil spill, leakage of petroleum onto the surface of a large body of water. Other causes include natural disasters or deliberate acts. Following an oil spill, there are specialists and veterinarians to deal with oiled wildlife. Shorelines are typically teeming with species that flourish on the water's surface, including birds, sea otters, fish, and invertebrates. Oil-covered birds are a universal symbol of environmental damage wreaked by oil spills. Among those that gained worldwide attention were the oil leaks due to a ruptured well in the Timor Sea in 2009 and a similar incident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Attempts to remove the oil through preening also causes birds to swallow oil, which causes severe organ damage. “Oil and Sea Turtles.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Outright ingestion of oil creates toxins in the system. Given below are various possible adverse effects of oil pollution. Oil spill not only has physical, mental and social effects on living beings but also has environmental and economic effects. A single gallon of oil can create an oil slick up to a … An oil spill can have a major impact on the economy in coastal areas. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill constituted an ecosystem-level injury in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Beaches, Marshlands, and Fragile Aquatic Ecosystems. This can make the entire ecosystem uninhabitable for years. Oil-drenched seabirds have become the prevailing image of the effects of oil spills, with the chemicals released by oil spills having the ability to disrupt their bodily functions to such an extent that biologist Sylvia Gaust argued that killing oil-soaked birds would be kinder than cleaning them. When precious crude oil or refined petroleum is lost, it effects the amount of petroleum and gas available for use. Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 94, 2015, pp. Both surfa… “Experimental and Modeled Thermoregulatory Costs of Repeated Sublethal Oil Exposure in the Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax Auritus.” Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. NOAA: How Oil Harms Animals and Plants in Marine Environments. The damage is hard to measure and contain, since it can effect complex ecosystems and spread if introduced to underground water. Preventing oil spills and using environmentally-friendly oil spill cleaners, rather than other toxic products will help a great deal in minimizing the impact of an oil spill. Human Health. People exposed can suffer from liver damage, skin and lung disorders, increased cancer risk, reproductive damage and … The Deepwater Horizon oil spill constituted an ecosystem-level injury in the northern Gulf of Mexico. In general, oil spills can affect animals and plants in two ways: from the oil itself and from the response or cleanup operations. Oil spills also damage nesting grounds, potentially causing serious long-term effects on entire species. The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, occurred during prime mating and nesting season for many bird and marine species, and long-term environmental consequences of that spill won't be known for years. Oil spills can disrupt migratory patterns by contaminating areas where migrating birds normally stop. 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