Exxon valdez oil spill research paper

There are three primary ways oil injures wildlife:

  1. The oil gets on the fur and feathers and destroys the insulation value. Birds and mammals then die of hypothermia (they get too cold).
  2. They eat the oil, either while trying to clean the oil off their fur and feathers or while scavenging on dead animals. The oil is a poison that causes death.
  3. The oil impacts them in ways that does not lead to a quick death, such as damaging the liver or causing blindness. An impaired animal cannot compete for food and avoid predators. Oil also affects animals in non-lethal ways such as impairing reproduction.

Thousands of workers participated in the cleanup efforts, but since little was known about effective cleanup methods, the workers weren't as successful as they could have been. In addition, cleanup didn't begin until three days after the spill, after a storm had spread much of the oil onto the coastline before it could be contained. Despite the cleanup effort, several miles of shoreline are still contaminated, and up to 200 tons of crude oil remain [source: Hoare , National Wildlife ]. Even in areas where the surface waters appear clear, oil often lurks beneath the surface in little pockets buried by sediment.

Exxon valdez oil spill research paper

exxon valdez oil spill research paper

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