Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Effect of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on the Bayous

By James Witherspoon
Platinum Quality Author
For many people, the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill and resulting seepage of oil across the ocean conjured up memories of the Exxon Valdez tragedy, which coated the coast of Alaska with an enormous oil slick which did tremendous damage to the area's eco system. For many, the sight of oil-covered pelicans along the Gulf is reminiscent of seals and sea birds in Prince William Sound struggling against an oil slick. However, while it's easy to draw a connection between these things and see both disasters as enormous dangers to the environment, it downplays the uniqueness of this particular tragedy.
Danger in the Bayous
The bayous are a system of marshes along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, stretching roughly from East Texas through much of Louisiana, the southern areas of Mississippi and Alabama, and through to the panhandle of Florida. The area is a band of sandy land stretching some 70,000 miles of coastline, held together by thin reeds, and is populated by a diverse array of wildlife, including crawfish, shrimp, many other varieties of shellfish, fish, alligators, birds, and more.
The ecosystem, like the reeds holding the sandy area together, is very delicate, and is difficult to clean after an oil spill. Beaches are relatively simple to clean: oil washes ashore and is cleaned off by crews. Once oil hits the bayou, though, it is virtually impossible to clean off. If crews set foot in the soil, they will merely drive the oil in deeper; and once the oil hits the cane stalks, it will seep into the roots. It is entirely possible that the damage done now could have repercussions for generations.
If you are interested in learning more about the environmental impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis, please visit the website of the oil-spill attorneys of Williams Kherkher today.
James Witherspoon