Saturday, 29 January 2011

Were there any other major spills around the world?

There have been other major spills around the world. The table below gives you a few oil spills that have occurred around the world. As you see, these oil spills have occurred in many different places. None of them seem to be near each other. You can also see how of the largest spills occurred in the 90’s.The table shows you that many spills have spilled over 10,000 tons of oil.
What Year?
Where did it occur?
What tanker was it?
How much oil did it spill (in tons)?
The Persian Gulf
Nowruz Oil Field
South Africa
Castillo De Belluer
The Monongahela River
Storage Tank
Off The Shetland Islands
Off SW Wales
Sea Empress
Galapagos Islands
There has recently been an oil spill on May 9, 2001 in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are located off the coast of Ecuador. The tanker, Jessica, tipped over pouring 240,000 gallons of oil into the ocean.
Workers used chemicals to break down the oil. If the oil is able to reach the bottom of the ocean, it might take at least two years to clean. Sea lions, pelican, seagulls, sea urchins, and seaweed have been affected by this spill. Workers used soap to clean the fur and feathers of hurt animals and milk for the animals’ heads because it wouldn’t hurt the animals’ eyes.
A couple months after the Jessica oil spill, scientists are studying different things about the spill. Some scientists are studying 650 different sites and seeing which sites were affected by the spill. They are trying to find out where the oil impacted and the animals that were and weren’t affected so they can learn more about the effects of oil spills.
How do they clean up the oil on the beaches or the water after a spill?
There are many ways to stop the spread of oil in the ocean. Workers can place a boom around the tanker that is spilling oil. Booms collect the oil off the water. A boom may be placed somewhere before an oil spill. They can be placed around an entrance to the ocean, like a stream. They also can be placed around a habitat with many animals living there. These booms will absorb any oil that flows around it.
The workers can also use skimmers. Skimmers are boats that can remove the oil off the water. Sorbents are sponges that can collect the oil. An airplane can fly over the water dropping chemicals into the ocean. The chemicals can break down the oil into the ocean.
They also can burn freshly spilled oil with fireproof booms to contain the oil. They might not decide to burn the oil because this method causes air pollution.
There are just a few ways to clean the oil off the beaches. Workers can use high or low pressure hoses to spray the oil that is on the beaches. Vacuum trucks may be driven on the beaches to vacuum up the oil. They can also simply use shovels or road equipment to collect all the oil off the beaches.
The method they use to clean the beaches or oceans depends on many things. They have to look at the weather, the type and amount of oil spilled, if people live in that area, what types of animals live in that area, and many more things. In some situations, they may not react to a spill. It may not be helpful or it would just cause even more damage to that habitat.
How do they clean animals after a spill?
There are many ways that animals are cleaned after an oil spill. When birds arrive at the cleaning center, the oil is flushed from the eyes and the intestines. They will also be examined for any broken bones, cuts, or any other injuries. Next, they will get a stomach-coating medicine to prevent any more oil from entering birds’ stomachs. Birds will then be warmed and placed in a quiet area.
Birds need to eat so they have some nutrition while they are recovering. Some animals might eat off a pan. Others may be forced to eat by a worker before they can feed themselves.
When a bird appears to be normal, it is allowed to swim. The bird will then trim and clean its own feathers to bring them back to their normal body structure. This will help the bird swim again. Next, the bird will have to pass a waterproof test. If the bird passes, it will slowly be introduced to the temperatures outside. In the test, the bird must show the ability to float and the ability to keep the water away from its body. Before they let the bird go, they must check it to make sure that its muscular structure is average for its species and the birds have no disease. Then the birds are released into the wild.
Sea Otters
When sea otters are taken to a cleaning facility, the heavy oiled otters will be washed first. Workers will wash the otters with warm water because they hope it will break down the oil. The warm water also can warm the otters up. The otters also will get medical treatment while they are being cleaned. The otters will then have to wait so they can dry.
After their fur is dry, they have to stay a few more days so the workers are sure of no diseases or broken bones.
Helping and Saving the Sea Life Today
Have you ever stopped to think what you use oil for? Every one uses oil a lot. The whole world uses nearly three billion gallons of oil every day. We all use it to fuel our cars, trucks, buses, and even to heat our homes. If you have touched a chain on a bicycle, you have touched some oil. The black stuff that appears on your fingers is an oil that makes the chains on your bike run smoothly. We use oil to make asphalt which can help us pave our roads. You can get examples of oil at a toy store, a hardware store, or a drugstore, because oil is made into plastics, which could be any of your toys or CD players. Oil is also used in medicines, ink, paints, and to create some electricity. We all can help stop oil spills happening in the oceans. If you use less oil, then less will have to be transported. We can use less oil by not using our cars when we can walk or ride a bike. We also can use less oil by paving the roads with cement. That way we are not using oil.
Think about how many lights you have in your house. Also think about all the electronics like computers or televisions. All of these things use electricity. If we all were to turn off lights, computers, or televisions when not in use, we wouldn’t be using as mush oil to create the electricity throughout the house.
There are many things being done to prevent more spills. The US Congress passed OPA (Ocean Pollution Act) 90 (in 1990). The OPA 90’s major laws are:
Emergency Response Plans- This law says that the owners of the tanker must have a detailed plan on what they will do if there was a spill. They must have this plan written before any spill.
Double Hulls- The law says that all ships in the U.S are required to have a double hull by 2015.
Liability- The law says that the owners of a boat that spills oil will have to pay $1,200 for every ton they spill.
Spill Fund-The law says that the government has money from companies that transport the oil so when a spill occurs, the government can pay for the clean up.
Navigation- The law says that the Coast Guard must know where the oil tankers can drive without an oil spill occurring.
As you see, there are many things being done to prevent oil spills. If everyone around the world decided to use less oil, we would lower the risk of a large spill. If there were a spill, we wouldn’t be dumping as much oil into the ocean, which would mean that there would be fewer animals killed or injured. You can also help decrease oil spills by using less electricity and gasoline, which are both made with oil.
Amber. "Sea Otter Rehabilitation." Last Visited: January, 2002.
Barid, Stuart. "Oil Spills."  Last Visited: January, 2002.
The Charles Darwin Foundation. "Technical Chronology of CDRS Actions." Last Visited: January, 2002.
Christine Paetzold. "Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Essay." /10867/ Last Visited: December, 2001.
Dorfman, Andrea. "A Sticky Situation." Time For Kids, February 2, 2001.
Fulton, Jim. "Big Us Oil Companies Have Found Cracks In The Tanker Regulations Inspired By The Exxon Valdez." Last Visited: January, 2002.
"Life in the Ocean." Science Horizons. United States: Silver Burdett Ginn Inc, 1993.
National Oceanic and Atmosphic Administration. "What’s the Story on Oil Spills?" Last Visted: November, 2001.
Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. "Rescuing Wildlife." Last Visited: January, 2002.
Office of Response and Restoration. "Spill Containment Methods." Last Visited: January, 2002.
Oil Spill Intelligence Report. "Oil- Spill Related Fact Summaries"  Last Visited: January, 2002.
Stewart, Anne. "World Oil Pollution: Causes, Prevention and Clean- Up." Last Visited: January, 2002.
"What’s being done to prevent anoth