Friday, 28 January 2011

The Gulf Oil Spill - How Are Animals Being Affected?

If you don't live near the Gulf area, you may not realize that many animals are being negatively affected by the oil spill. To those animals, however, their daily lives are impacted in huge ways. For many of these animals, the oil spill and the resulting pollution will kill them.
Which animals are being affected? How does oil kill and poison them? Here are some answers.
What animals are affected by the spill?
Bird species include royal terns, Caspian terns, birds that frequent the marshes, such as mottled ducks, clapper and black rails, seaside sparrows, and birds who build nests along the shores, like American oystercatchers and Wilson's plovers.
Birds that live on the water are heavily infected. These include ducks, loons and grebes. Those that feed on the water are also susceptible. Gulls, terns, and herons feed on the water, so they are affected. Even birds of prey, like bald eagles and ospreys are at risk.
The state bird of Louisiana, the brown pelican, is also at risk. Pelicans are favorites with many people, because they are interesting to watch. Their lower jaws connect to a pouch that can expand to hold three times more than their stomachs can. The pouch is used like a net, to hold fish until the water is squeezed out.
Laughing gulls, ready to steal an easy meal, hang around near the pelicans, hoping to nab a fish. They hover above the pelicans or even perch on top their bills.
The pouch is also used as a way to cool the pelicans. Sometimes they use them to feed their young. They open their bills, and the babies stick their heads in and gobble up food.
How does the oil spill hurt the animals?
The oil causes damage because the animals breathe in oil, it gets on their food, so they eat it, and it gets on their bodies. The result is that they suffer damage to their respiratory and digestive systems, and suffer poisoning, which harms their organs, including lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart.
For birds, this also means the oil gets on their feathers, which decreases their waterproof-ness. As a result, birds get chilled, cannot stay afloat, and may not be able to fly.
For marine mammals, such as seals, otters, dolphins and manatees, the oil needs to be cleaned out of their fur, which usually leads to poisoning. It can also reduce the ability of these animals to stay warm in the water. All of these animals come to the surface to breathe, so they also suffer damage from inhaling and swallowing oil.
All of them can suffer burns from the oil contacting their skin. Sea turtles do not have this problem, but the oil still gets in their eyes, on their skin, and in their lungs when they come to the surface to breathe. Their food also becomes poisoned. Continuous exposure to the oil from spills reduces their overall health, making them more susceptible to disease and death.
What is being done to help?
Volunteers and experts at several rescue organizations are working around the clock to help. They collect injured animals, keep them in a safe place, and allow them to regain their health before being released. Many need to be cleaned, medicated, rehydrated, and stabilized. Sadly, they cannot help all of the animals, and many die.
How can you make a difference?
Learn about a creative way you can help, the Ripple Sketch program, at

Oil Spill, Tea Party Unites With Green Party For Carbon Free Future

What have we done? While I do not live in the area affected by the Gulf Spill, I am depressed, full of rage and deeply frightened. What future are we leaving our children?
I am so tired of the political bickering. It is time to stop the finger pointing and start taking responsibility. We need to end our reliance on oil, coal and nuclear energy. Yet no politician seems to be talking this way. The politicians are stuck in a system of special-interest money, gotcha politics and biased media.
If people do not begin to act we will have only more of the same from our leaders. Tea partiers - your "drill baby drill" cue card came from the oil industry. But the greedy forces who owned the media, control our food supply, dominate the banking sector and drive America's politicians awoke a sleeping giant in genuine tea partiers. At America's core is a self-reliant, can-do spirit to make things better for the next generation.
Why do we need to end our reliance oil, coal and nuclear? Climate change is real. The fact that there is so much confusion on climate change is a sad commentary on the way we currently share information. The clear scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are the primary cause.
Nuclear energy is seen by some as a savior because nuclear energy does not add to climate change. But the lesson glaring to be learned from the gulf oil spill is humility. There is no such thing as a fail safe. It is morally wrong to use nuclear energy when it has hazardous waste lasts for tens of thousands of years.
How do we end our reliance on oil, coal and nuclear? A few oddballs have been lighting the way. A resident on the Minnesota/Canada border uses geothermal to heat his home. It works even on the coldest days. A young farmer family lives off the grid and totally sustainable. Vibrant Amish communities enjoy a simpler, more certain and morally responsible life.
Maybe the transition to a post carbon future can be fun and easy! This does not eliminate hard work. My hands are blistered from digging up a community garden on land owned by a local church. As individuals we need to become hyper-aware of where we are getting our food. Factory farming is wrong.
Politically, I've joined the Citizen Climate lobby, which advocates a direct, steadily increasing fee on CO2 with all the revenue returned to every household. Dr. James Hansen calls it the "People's Climate Stewardship Act." The fee would start at $15 per ton of CO2 and increase $10-15 a year. Within a decade, green energy would be competitive with coal and oil. At that point, the fee would produce a "carbon dividend" of $1,500 for each person and shield households from the impact of rising energy costs. During a committee hearing last year, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said, "I wish we would just talk about a carbon tax, 100 percent of which would be returned to the American people. So there's no net dollars that would come out of the American people's pockets."
There are answers we can agree upon. As we bear witness to the destruction in the gulf, we need the courage to face our pain. Instead of anger, choose action. Grow your own food and buy it from people you know. Conserve energy. Support the People' Climate Stewardship Act.

The Significance of Waste Oil Treatment in Protecting the Environment

The worldwide demand for oil also brings up demand for transportation of this material to different countries. Transport is carried out via road, pipeline, and sea; and transportation of oil brings forth risk of spill which in turn endangers the environment. Much of the oil is being carried by tankers, and this poses a constant hazard to marine and coastal ecosystems, which as we know have already suffered from oil spills in the past. Spills that occur offshore can reach the shores by the action of winds and ocean currents, posing immense environmental implications.
It is important to learn how to control waste oil generation and how to properly dispose of oil waste since it cannot be processed by the environment the way it processes any organic matter. For companies that handle oil procurement and transportation, the necessity for waste management is imperative and is considered a top priority. Oil plants, for instance should have reliable contingency plans and these must encompass sufficient waste management provisions, so that in the instant that an accident occurs such plans are put into action. Immediate action will reduce cost through effective containment and treatment before the environmental contamination spreads to a wider area.
There are various programs to deal with the known risk and the actual spill, from reduction of waste production to recycling of waste and proper disposal of waste oil. Control of the amount of waste generated is perhaps the ideal plan. Urgent cleanup operation during a spill must be carried out, and it involves containment and collection of oil and oil-contaminated rubble and waste. Depending on the kind of waste recovered, it may undergo segregation, treatment, recycling, and disposal. Ideally, plants should have a separate waste stream and storage system for each kind of waste generated for instant segregation. Properly segregated waste is easier to process for both recycling and disposal.
Another concern is minimizing of the amount of waste generated to reduce cost in recycling and disposal as well as mitigate environmental impact. This can be carried out by locating the potential impact sites. Clearing out of debris and garbage at the impact sites minimizes the amount of waste to be treated. As mentioned earlier, segregation of waste streams is vital in order for different types of waste to be instantly separated, since separation of mixed waste is extremely difficult. Waste containment areas should be waterproof or have cover to prevent seepage of rainwater since water in the waste containments would demand further effort in waste treatment.
Crude oil is an indispensable natural resource used in various industries. At the same time, it is a serious environmental contaminant posing concern for environmental conservation organizations all over the world. Improper disposal of oil waste can lead to serious litigations as there are laws passed to protect the environment from wanton destruction propagated by oil spills due to improper containment of oil and sometimes recklessness. Prevention of contamination is so much better than devising containment and dispersal measures.
The objective of waste oil treatment is to process oil waste, so it can be recycled or transformed into something usable or be disposed of properly if it renders unusable. All the efforts encompassed in waste oil treatment are to prevent waste from entering environmental systems, furthermore destroying flora and fauna that get exposed to it. For instance, maritime oil spills can endanger marine conditions and risk the lives of marine organisms. At the same time, even discarding used cooking oil into sinks is also not recommended. Hence, whether you are looking at a worldwide or domestic scale, oil waste disposal and treatment are two imperative measures that should be done in accordance to the legislation not because we want to avert criminal offenses but because we want to take care of the environment.
Jo is a content writer for 'Ecokem' ( ), a reputable UK based chemical manufacturer that concentrates in the development and supply of waste oil treatment substances, aqueous purifiers, chemical products and aerosol degreasers to a wide array of industries. If your business is looking for a wide selection of de-ashing compounds, oil demulsifiers and coalescing solutions to be used in the treatment of waste oils then have a look at Ecokem.

Oil Spill Berms - The Key to Containing Oil Spills and Allowing For Easy Clea

Are you handling, transporting, or storing oil? If so, it's important to be prepared - and be able to contain the oil on short notice. Read on to discover how spill berms work to contain the damage.
If you are not yet familiar with oil berms, you should know that they are barriers that you arrange around the oil spill. This will keep the oil confined and prevent it from spreading.
And it doesn't much matter where the spill is either, or how big it is. There are berms that fit almost any situation -- some are modular so you can combine them and extent them to any size you may need. Others are smaller and lightweight so you can take them with you, which allows you to be prepared for a spill on a moment's notice.
There are basically three major types of oil spill berms:
1) Portable
Portable oil spill berms are small in size so they can be easily transported and kept handy for any potential spill. They are especially suited for drums and other types of small containers. Emergency type spill berms also belong into this category.
If you're shopping for portable oil spill berms, look for ones that are light weight yet strong and durable, preferably made out of polyethylene or polyurethane elastomer. They should be compact so you can carry them with you in cars and trucks or store them on a nearby shelf for when you might need them.
2) Assembly Required
Oil spill berms that require assembly are suited for bigger spills. They tend to be l-bracket berms, which are very economical. And don't let the "assembly required" label scare you. They are actually an easy one-piece design and come with instructions. You'll find that the required assembly is actually very easy and can be done very quickly.
3) Ready to Go
A third type of oil spill berms is suitable for larger spills and yet does not require assembly. The way they work is that you can basically lay them out and then put your equipment right on top of them.
Some of them have snap-up sides, and others have sides that rise automatically and turn the berm into a catch basin when there should be a spill.
You'll be able to get both the assembly required and the ready to roll berms in custom sizes to fit your specific situation.
When you shop for any of those berms, make sure they meet EPA requirements. And of course, having such approved equipment on hand helps you comply with EPA guidelines.
If you need to worry about bigger spills, you may also want spill containment dikes to cover more territory, along with drain protector covers to protect the environment.
Meanwhile, you're surely aware that spill berms merely cover the containment part of the spill management equation. They make clean-up easy because they prevent the oil from spreading.
But of course, you'll still need products to actually clean the spill up, such as spill kits and other absorbents.
Want to know more about oil spill berms? Find more information and all the latest absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Absorbents Online website and get his FREE newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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The Mexican Oil Spill That Has No Boundaries

The oil spill that ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico is slowly seeping into the Middle East. Although the State authorities tried their best ways, closing the lakes from reaching the Eastern part and started lining up barges to stop the spilled oil from spreading. However, the oil spill is spreading as the sea has no boundaries but the clean up crews are working hard to collect the tar from the dock as quickly as possible to reduce the damages as much as they can.
Quite a huge amount of oil waste has been collected and the tests on sea life have not as yet turned up with oil contamination and this shows hope for the remaining sea life. These are incidents that are really unpredictable but a little care and precaution can surely help you to resolve such problems within a short time.
The slow response of the American government as compared to the fast forward reactions and solutions of the Malaysian and Singaporean people in such matters shows that they are far better in environmental performance. BP is surely responsible and needs to face all the liabilities in the circumstances of grave danger which may cause environmental destruction to both the coastal areas and the marine life living there.
The slow reaction of the Americans really speaks out that there is surely a need to make amend in the oil prevention policy within the US soil. The huge oil spill disaster occurred just days before the American president announced that more oil would be drilled of the Eastern and the Mexican shore of America. The most troubling question lurking behind the minds of the local population that are at risk is will they be able to survive the oil spill.
The bad weather conditions and the storm threat surely acts as an obstacle and halts most of the work at the oil spill. The reports of the oil spill are based on the State and Federal official conclusion. Plus the government makes its reports based on two estimates firstly it reports are based on the study of the undersea video of the oil and gas that is leaking out from the site and the study of the flow rate group is also combined to form the final report. But due to bad weather there may also be problems in getting the exact estimates and International news is filled up with the latest updates in the rescuing strategies used for the oil spill disaster.
The oil spill workers have landed on safer waters so that they don't get tangled up with the storm and are waiting for the weather to tone down so that they can start of with their protective measure in fast forward way.
The author is an associated author at a US based Online News Magazine, capturing different perspectives of people and their view on News around the world. For more detailed insights on US and theMiddle East News visit the website.

Miami Tourism: Plain Sailing or Troubled Water Since the BP Oil Spill?

Miami beach is one of the most recognisable locations in the world, after the BP Oil Spill will the beach be a white heaven or a black hell? Here's a quick timeline of the oil spill to put some of it into perspective:
20th April: The Oil Rig, Deep Water Horizon reports an explosion and fire, eleven people are missing and 17 injured
22nd April: The Deep water Horizon sinks in 5,000ft of water. There are reports of a five mile ling oil slick
25th April: The underwater well is leaking at 1,000 barrels of oil a day.
28th April: The Coastguard announces that the flow of oil is at 5,000 barrels per day, five times larger than first estimated. Controlled burns begin.
29th April: President Obama gives his first public speech about the spill, pledging that he will spare no resource to stop the spill.
1st May: The coastguard announce that the spill will affect the coast.
13th May: A researcher from Purdue University puts the amount of oil leaking at 70,000 barrels per day.
15th June: President Obama says that the Oil Spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced
19th September: BP finally stops the ruptured well from leaking.
It's been a tragic summer for the Gulf of Mexico, with the President saying that the Oil Spill is the worst environmental disaster in U.S history.
As you can see from the timeline above, the Oil Spill did hit the coast of the US, and our TV screens were filled with reports of tar and oil balls washing up onto the shores. The big question is whether this disaster is going to affect tourism? We know that it affected the fishing trade as the fishing boats were banned from the spill sight. It has also had some lasting environmental damage, with a species of seahorse almost going extinct as a result.
After the spill had stopped the reports of the little black tar balls disappeared from our TV's but the question still remains that whether this disaster will affect tourism to one of America's tourism hotspots.
We have already seen political representative's promoting Florida's and Alabama's beaches. Barrack Obama was photographed swimming with his daughter, and more recently Governor Charlie Crist has been photographed promoting Miami's South Beach.
Tourism figures are looking healthy, but only time will tell. The Tourism board can do nothing apart from parade officials along beaches to try and transmit a positive image. It is hard to tell which way the tourists will swing on this one, keep an eye out because there may be very cheap flights to Miami in the coming months.
But Florida isn't just about the beaches, there are plenty of activities and things to see and do around the Gulf. By all accounts the beach is fine, but, if the beaches aren't fine, will that affect Tourism in a negative way? Or will tourists just avoid the beach?
I'm Mike, I want to educate, help and inspire people to think about travel.

Hey Hay - Is There a Simple Way to Clean Up BP's Oil Spill?

Is the clean up of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a cause we can all unite around? Numerous gallons of oil has been dumped into the gulf. Regardless of the politics around drilling or not drilling, I'm hoping that we can all agree that BP's Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and subsequent oil spill off the coast Louisiana, is a bad thing. Unlike greenhouse gases, this pollution that is very visible. It's not good for the oil industry and it's not good for marine life or the environment. But everyone cares about money. In an already struggling economy, the oil spill will negatively impact the economic health of Louisiana, other states, BP and other oil companies.
Our response to the oil spill has been embarrassing. I once had a dysfunctional upper manager in the IT department whose philosophy was that it was more important to fix the blame, then it was to fix the problem. We do need to find out why it happened, so we can prevent a recurrence. But although oil spills can have devastating impacts, they rarely happen. The political posturing is not helping to stop the oil from gushing. Nor will it help the states along the Gulf of Mexico that are noticing tourism cancellations and slow bookings. I don't really understand this, but they even expect North Carolina's coast to be impacted as well by the oil spill.
Some southern boys have a relatively natural solution to the oil cleanup debacle. Their tactic is about absorbing the oil rather than containment. Not sure how practical it is, but the high powered, how dollar technology has failed so far. Hopefully we can find an environmentally friendly solution to rescuing the environment and the economy. We need to think out of the box. Or, in this case, perhaps we need to think out of the barn.
Check out the proposed solution in this video
Interested in saving energy and saving money?
I'd like to invite you to check out the "green" money saving products at
Sandra Noble provides green products and consulting services for individuals and businesses who embrace and support the concept of preserving and protecting yourself, your family, your business and the planet. And it does not have to cost you, Save energy, save electricity, save the environment, save money, be healthier, be green, live a green life with our environmentally friendly green products. Go Green!

How to Use an Oil Absorbent Boom - A Highly Effective Tool for Oil Spill Clean-Up

Do you have to clean up oil spills, especially on water, as part of your job? Or do need to be prepared for any number of reasons? Read on for the scoop on the oil absorbent boom, one of the most effective tools to clean up oil spills fast (and on what else you need to do).
How do oil spills on water happen?
There are a number of possibilities, from leaky engines, to toppled gas canisters to a variety of accidents. And accidents don't have to involve just boats or ships, but they can also be air planes that have crash-landed on water and are now contaminating the water. And, of course, oil drilling facilities -- though if there is a big problem with oil wells, you will need a lot more than just a few oil absorbent booms.
So let's stick to the more manageable oil spills and how to handle them
As you know, oil floats on water -- where it will spread very quickly. So before you even deploy your oil absorbent booms, you may want to get the other kind of oil booms -- the non-absorbent kind, to keep the oil spill contained.
Use those to surround the entire oil-spill area to hold in the oil. Then throw in your oil absorbent booms that will absorb the oil. Once they have soaked up their fill, you can remove them and replace them with more booms.
It's a messy affair, and not cheap, but the damage that oil inflicts on the environment calls for whatever effort is needed to clean things up.
What you need to know about the oil absorbent boom
You should also know that these booms are sometimes referred to as marine booms, sea booms, ocean booms, sorbent booms, or oil spill booms.
Obviously they're designed for use in water. High quality booms will float on water even if they're saturated, and they also indicate clearly when that is the case so you can replace them with fresh booms -- without wasting capacity of the original booms.
But that's not all they're good for. You can also use them on land. The one thing you need to know is that they only work for oil-based and hydrocarbon-based chemicals, including fuel, oil, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and more. This means that they will repel water, which is why they work as well as they do.
How to select the right oil absorbent boom
When you're shopping for your booms, be sure that they comply with Federal regulations. They do come in several sizes, so you'll be able to get just the right oil absorbent boom (or booms) for your needs.
Want to know more about choosing the right oil absorbent boom? Find more information and all the latest absorbents and other environmental and industrial safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Absorbents Online website and get his FREE newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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Oil Containment Booms - As Seen on TV - Keep Oil Spills From Spreading Out of Control

If you've watched the news during the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster, you've seen plenty of them in action: Oil containment booms, lined up along coast lines to prevent the oil from contaminating the shore.
Here's why they were the logical choice for the task. The problem with oil spills, especially if they happen on or near water, is that they spread quickly and can get out of control rapidly. And oil containment booms can often stop their spread completely, or at least slow it down.
Oil booms actually come in two varieties -- absorbent and non-absorbent. The absorbent booms are especially handy because not only can they contain oil spills but they can also clean them up.
They are also referred to as oil spill booms, sorbent booms, marina booms, marine booms, ocean booms or sea booms.
In spite of their name, they can also be used on land to clean up large amounts of oil. And not just oil either, but any other kind of hydrocarbons as well, including gasoline, motor oil, jet fuel, hydraulic oil, and kerosene.
However, they cannot be used for water based chemicals, acids, or aggressive chemicals of any kind.
Oil containment booms are designed to float on the surface of water. They're long sausage-shaped mesh casings stuffed with oil only absorbent polypropylene filler. This makes them float on water whether or not they're already full. They also have nylon ropes and a durable linking system, so they can be linked together -- and more easily retrieved when they're full.
Because they are floating right on top of the water, where any of the spilled oil will be as well, they form a barrier and are highly effective in preventing any oil from getting away.
Their bright white in color serves an important function as well. When they have absorbed all the oil they can take, they plump up -- which makes them easier to see. This in turn is a hard-to-miss indicator of when they need to be replaced. After all, they're costly, so you don't want to replace them when they still have capacity left.
They're perfectly suited for use on any kind of body of water, whether that's a lake, a river, a marina, or even the open ocean. Of course, after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill we've seen a lot of oil containment booms in action -- on TV and in other news media -- and even people who had never heard or thought about them have become familiar with their sight and use.
Want to know more about oil containment booms? Get valuable tips and the latest news about absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Safety Maintenance News blog and get his free newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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A Few Of The Effects of Population Growth on the Environment

The population of the world is slowly increasing. As this happens, we need to take great caution in making sure we don't harm the environment. If we don't be careful then it could lead to disastrous effects for us and nature.
As cities grow larger and larger the natural land around them is being turned into homes and office buildings. We need to set up more parks inside cities to allow for the large amount of urbanization. These parks help to beautify the city while helping to preserve our environment.
As we build these homes and cities we are using more and more lumber and other natural resources for the buildings. We need to limit how much quarrying is allowed in one area and they need to be replanted instead of left bare. If you have ever seen the aftermath of a quarry you would understand how it is a scar to the earth.
When we use the trees in a rainforest or any forest we should replant at least the same amount of trees that we took out of it. Birds, squirrels, and other animals use these forests to survive and gather food. Without this natural habitat they will slowly begin to die off.
Also alternative power sources should be researched and used more heavily. As we burn more and more fossil fuels we are hurting the atmosphere and slowly losing those valuable resources. Learning how to expand our uses of solar, wind, and hydro-electric energy will greatly help save the environment.
It may not seem like nature is being hurt any now. However, as time goes on we will slowly begin to see a decline of animals and may even see some species go extinct and if we don't change the way we live we may soon outgrow nature herself.
Visit our site on World Population Awareness for more information:

Another Catastrophic Oil Spill Kills Marine Life

Let's not forget the Exxon Valdez oil disaster that had more than 40 million liters of crude oil draining from a wrecked oil tanker in its attempt to reach Long Beach California. In 2007, the oil spill at Francisco Bay poured 58000 gallons of oil in the bay covering birds and other wildlife.
Although the American Government has declared this a National disaster; they are paying close attention to major threats to wildlife, fisheries and tourism. We really need to treat this as an environmental risk that affects us all. These spills carry toxic material and damage to coastal habitats and an obstruction to marine life.
As declared by the US Government, this spill could continue as much as ninety days. If this happens as much as four States could be affected. Florida, with its beaches known to inhabit marine life will see devastation beyond comprehension.
With all these oil spills, shouldn't we ask the question, is there a need to continue with offshore drilling and are there alternatives such as wind and solar technology? The US Government needs to start looking into allocating funds towards this effort. In the attempt to extract oil from well below the ocean floor this is upsetting our marine and deep sea life and as well posses a risk to future oil spills. With offshore drilling accounting for at least 30 percent of the total US oil production their reliance on it is becoming quite evident. Americans uses about 8 billion barrels of oil per year and it's projected that at least 1000 barrels will spill in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 40 years.
Canada is keeping close watch in order to learn from the mismanagement of this disaster. Although Canadian provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Nova Scotia already has been taking measures to prevent these oil spill disasters. With Canada's polar arctic there is much at stake.
We are all affected by the need for our marine and wild life. We cannot live without them because they contribute to our own existence. If we can start to harness the powers of wind, solar and alternative energy we could do away with the need for offshore drilling that is upsetting our ecosystem.
We need to prevent disasters from happening year after year. There are many things each of us can do to contribute to prevent these unnecessary disasters. We can volunteer, write, as well as advocate and educate ourselves to learning about ways to help the Government harness these powers to eliminate offshore drilling.

Which Oil Spill Containment Boom For Which Situation - A Brief Guide to Non-Absorbent Oil Booms

You know you need to be prepared for oil spill emergencies. And you want to do the right thing, which is to make sure you have oil spill containment booms on hand. The problem? It can be hard to decide which ones you may need for your specific situation. Read on for a handy guide to the various types of settings for potential spills and the types of oil booms that are best suited for those situations.
First, there are two major types of oil spill containment booms, absorbent and non-absorbent. Here, we will focus on the non-absorbent type.
Before you buy an oil spill containment boom, you need to figure out for which type of situation you're most likely to need it. Since they're all used to contain oil and other spills in various bodies of water, the most important consideration when choosing an oil boom is in what type of body of water it is likely to be needed.
That's because you will need to use very different types of oil booms depending on whether you try to contain a spill in calm and protected waters, or in less calm waters along the shoreline, or in fast-moving waters. Here are the four main types of potential settings and the types of non-absorbent oil booms that are best suited for them.
a) Calm water, where you need to contain oil and possibly debris as well. This type of setting is mostly found on inland waterways, lakes, marinas, and harbors. The best type of oil boom for this setting is lightweight and compact. Ideally, it can also be folded into sections for easy transportation. This way, the boom can be stored in boats, trucks, and other vehicles so it can be deployed quickly -- and by hand -- if and when it is needed. The booms should have handles as well as anchor points.
b) Calm and shallow areas, such as in roadside ditches, canals, and small streams. Here, you will need a very lightweight oil boom that can be easily transported and used in smaller bodies of water as well.
c) Shorelines and coastal areas. These areas are more expansive and the water is less calm. There may also be boat traffic. For a situation like that, you will need heavy duty oil booms that have a much sturdier -- and reliable -- construction. However, you also need to be able to move them for any boat traffic. Look for a high buoyancy reserve, for example the type achieved by stable log floats. Of course, the booms should also have handles as well as anchor points. The connectors should be heavy duty as well as marine-grade.
d) Areas with faster currents, including rivers, estuaries, harbors, and ports. Also, situations where there might be a need for long-term deployment. These types of situations call for booms with extremely sturdy construction. Look for steel cables that have sufficient strength for towing, and that will not break even in fast-moving water. Ideally, bottom tension is provided by galvanized chains, and the top tension by galvanized cables.
As you can see, these are very different types of booms. So before you buy an oil spill containment boom, consider the setting where you might need it, and then choose the boom that best matches your needs.
Travis Zdrazil is a successful businessman who has been part of a successful partnership since 1985. With over 10 years of business experience Travis uses his business expertise to select and supply businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements. Sign up for his free newsletter at or feel free to contact him if you have any questions on the oil spill containment boom products through the site.
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The Best Ways to Clean Up an Oil Spill

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought oil spill prevention and cleanup to the forefront of public attention. When considering the amount of environmental and economic damage a spill of this nature can have, there is no way to overstate the importance of cleaning up the mess as quickly and as effectively as possible.
This article will explore some of the many concepts floating around that might be able to assist in removing and cleaning up the oil. Some of the options are environmentally friendly, others are not. This article leaves it to the reader to judge which might be best implemented or focused on.
Physical Removal
The following tactics can be used to physically remove the oil or stop it from spreading.
Booms - Booms are flotation devices that can form a barrier to stop the spread of oil. They are readily accessible and often used to try to create a containment area. Oil has been known to slosh both under and over booms.
Skimming - Skimming is the physical act of taking nets or other such devices to strain the top of the ocean, catching the oil but allowing the clean water to sluice through.
Vacuums - Large suction devices just as you might imagine that are used to suck up oil, which can then be loaded into a tanker and hauled away to a storage facility.
Sorbents - Sorbents are large sponges designed to retain oil but allow water to be filtered back out.
Shovels and Hand Tools - Once the oil reaches shoreline, shovels and other traditional devices are used to collect and transport the oil.
Another tactic for handling massive amounts of oil is to put it in contact with an absorbent. Absorbents are materials that suck up the oil but leave clean water behind. The absorbent can then be collected much more easily through physical removal methods.
Hay - Hay has been known to very effectively absorb oil and separate it from water. Hay is a readily available resource and is low cost.
Pine Shavings - Pine shavings, much like hay, are an available commodity that can be used during oil spills. Shavings are a cheap and effective byproduct of many industries.
Hair - Although it sounds a bit unusual, hair (especially human hair) turns out to be an extremely effective absorbent material. It is sometimes used in a patty form for beach cleanup.
Chemical / Biological Agents
Sometimes for large spills chemical and biological agents need to be deployed. These help change the composition of the oil and help it break down into more manageable compounds.
Dispersants - Dispersants are chemical agents that mix with oil. The goal of a dispersant is to loosen the chemical makeup of the oil so that it can more quickly absorb into water. The trouble with dispersants is that there are often negative environmental side effects to their mass usage.
Oyster Mushrooms - This special fungus can break oil down and convert it into environmentally friendly waste products. They are used to help clean up oil that has made its way to the beach, and is sometimes combined with hair patties in order to create a culture that can become valuable mulch.
Bioremediation - Utilizing microbes that naturally eat oil particles, bioremediation offers a unique opportunity to clean up oil in a natural way. Current bioremediation microorganisms feed on the oil, break them up into byproducts that are edible to marine life, and then die when their food source (oil) is depleted.
Alternate Methods
The following are methods that don't particularly fit into other categories.
Burning - Controlled burns offer a quick solution to patches of oil, but offer environmental risks when used near land or in large doses.
Inaction - Allowing the oil to naturally and slowly blend with the water. Harmful if wildlife is abundant.
Bill Hayes is owner and founder of The Hayes Firm. Bill has created a resource designed to assist victims of the recent Gulf Coast oil spill. Visit his website if you would like to learn more aboutLouisiana oil spill lawsuits.

The BP Oil Spill Blame Game and a Call For United Action

Recent news reports describe an escalating blame game involving oil industry officials, government representatives and politicians over responsibility for the massive BP oil spill and its developing aftermath. The touted "top kill" failed to work and experts are now struggling for another option to solve the BP oil spill crisis. President Obama is "angry," trying to reflect public mood and maintain a semblance of control. A growing rift, already beginning to show last week, now seems to widen as immediate success at staunching the oil flow becomes more doubtful. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fumes over resistance to dredging sand barriers, accusing federal agencies of neglect and inaction. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has all the answers, somehow knowing from his great distance just where the president and BP went wrong. No one seems to remember how little regard those formerly crying "Drill, baby, drill!" had for the safeguards they now accuse the government and oil industry of willfully neglecting.
The widening Gulf of Mexico oil disaster provides a study into how we behave in crisis, showing that we all have a lot to learn about working together. Some of us who feel not so immediately involved try to turn away: change the channel. The daily resume of formerly crystal clear waters now murky with oil overwhelms us. Day after day we experience heart wrenching sadness as rescuers try to save scores of seabirds soaked in oil, reminding us of Exxon Valdez and other offshore spills. Our minds struggle to comprehend the choking effects of raw crude embedded in already dwindling Louisiana marshlands and we find it impossible to imagine how this seemingly fragile environment might ever recover.
People immediately affected cannot turn away. Their lives are directly affected in a way impossible to escape. States all around the Gulf rim now suffer financial loss as tourists stay away. Those in the fishing industry and related industries face not only immediate financial disaster but also the loss of generational occupation through no fault of their own. An entire region, already slammed by Hurricane Katrina, now seems doomed with the loss of abundant fresh seafood, so essential to a vibrant culture and cuisine.
Even though oil contamination may be hundreds of miles from still pristine beaches, many would-be travelers are repulsed at the thought of swimming in a now polluted Gulf. And the menace moves ever closer to areas still untouched. Aerial sensors record a spreading mass of what may be sub-surface oil, while other accounts describe a glaring surface sheen in areas where water still appears clear. Oil from the massive spill is now reported entering the "loop current," and commentators speak of oil as spreading "everywhere."
As in so many fictional accounts of alien infestation, the horror insidiously spreads to consume us all. Another containment attempt, expected within the next seven days, holds limited promise of success, especially as "some" oil may continue to escape. The only real hope now depends on successful completion of relief wells that may finally ease pressure, diverting escaping oil and gas toward controlled capture. But this cannot occur before mid-August. Our minds now struggle to conceive of a once seemingly pristine Gulf filling with noxious crude, with little hope of containment for three months to come.
But we can waste no time in the "blame game" and effectively confront this crisis. Wiser heads among us know that our best successes will come when we put aside political differences, rivalries and fears to work together in every way we can. There will be plenty of time in months and years ahead to consider blame. Now is not the time to squabble over blame, as acrimony only saps our energies, splintering groups that might otherwise work successfully together in response to unfolding developments. There is sufficient responsibility to go around for now. In fact, we would all do well to take whatever responsibility we can to confront this spreading menace together.
Pursuing scapegoats only decreases our ability to work collectively in the face of crisis. Who in the oil industry or in government regulatory agencies could possibly say they were without at least some responsibility in developments leading to this disaster? Even the Obama administration, born in such tremendous hope for clean energy and renewed environmental protection, will remain tarnished by this greatest American environmental disaster well into a possible second term.
None of us watching as rusty brown fingers weave across formerly clear water can avoid feeling touched by the cloying oil. Blaming government or industry may seem temporarily satisfying, but it provides no solution for now: the oil still flows and spreads. We can only effectively meet this environmental and economic disaster by uniting our energies to work together toward containment and solution. And we can remember that, in our finest hours, we have faced crisis together before.
We can at least show support for those directly involved. We can send money to aid those facing financial disaster. We can send money to help with cleanup and containment efforts. We can send money to support volunteers who would help to protect and clear marshes and beaches, while being lodged in motels usually crowded with tourists. We can also buy seafood as long as it remains on shelves. This will at least do a little to save a threatened industry. Just by doing these simple things we can all join together in every possible way to maintain an already struggling economy while providing a volunteer army to keep oil from our shores.
Finally, we can call on President Obama and Governor Jindal to ask for volunteers and for contributions from us all to cover their expenses. While BP remains responsible for costs, their payment may come too late for either people or pelicans. We can act most effectively if we take up responsibility now, together.
(c) Copyright - Douglas Boyd Robinson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Where Can I Sign Up to Volunteer For BP Oil Spill Cleanup in the Gulf Or Along the Florida Coast?

So many folks are horrified watching their TV sets as the BP oil spill continues and the oil washes up on the shore of Gulf Beaches in the US. Most folks are heartbroken over the whole thing. And others want to take action and refuse to lay down and die or let this problem overwhelm their good nature and positive attitude. Indeed, these folks want to be part of the solution, rather than complaining about it all. I for one cannot blame them at all. So you ask;
  • Where Can I volunteer to help clean up the Oil Spill?
  • Which Beaches are the Most Damaged Along the Gulf Coast?
  • Can we clean up the oil before the first Hurricane Hits?
  • Is it safe to volunteer, I've heard stories of health issues?
Yes, all these are very good questions indeed. Now then, one of the best clean-up volunteer groups I've found is the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Also, you might look them up online, and perhaps also search for; "Matter of Trust Nonprofit Group" which is keeping a list of small grass roots organizations working on the oil spill clean-up. The BP Website also has an information center and service, with a hotline.
Nearly all the local chambers of commerce in the beach communities along the coast have grass roots efforts to assist. Everyone seems to be networking, crowd sourcing, and working through this problem from Florida, all the way around the Gulf to Louisiana. Folks from Texas are volunteering, folks from CA, WA, and even Alaska have volunteered to come help. Maybe you might do the same?
One bit of warning however, and this is something an acquaintance recently mentioned to me when she noted; "The Oil spill is not an assignment I want to be up close and personal on. Too many residual effects appear to be happening with current clean-up crew of Local Fishermen. One of the past disasters I worked on was 9-11."
Yes, she is right, think about her warnings before you volunteer and check it out, make sure it is safe. In some ways it may be similar to the same problems with all the WTC clean-up and some of the volunteers and crews helping there are dying of a wicked lung cancer now, it's just terrible. So what is causing the fishermen to get sick in Louisiana after the spill, my guess is that it must be the combination of dispersion chemicals, natural gas, oil, etc. I'd like to look at those molecules and see exactly what's what.
So, if you do volunteer, and the environment would like your help on this, then please be smart about it and listen to the experts and follow the procedures. Think on this.
Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank. Lance Winslow believes it's hard to write 20,000 articles;
Note: All of Lance Winslow's articles are written by him, not by Automated Software, any Computer Program, or Artificially Intelligent Software. None of his articles are outsourced, PLR Content or written by ghost writers.

The Oil Spill Disaster Spells Opportunity For Environmental Contractors and Coverage Issues

No matter which television channel or website you turn to, the Gulf oil spill has dominated the news. This is an environmental crisis that will affect the region's economic capabilities and natural resources for years, if not decades, to come. Between 2 to 4 million barrels of oil have spilled into the gulf, compared to 257 thousand barrels during the Exxon Valdez event. The fishing and tourism industry, which was depressed before the tragedy, is now virtually non-existent. Gulf coast economies from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have all been affected, and scientists are predicting that the Gulf current may carry containments along the Florida Keys and up the east coast.
This disaster creates a tremendous opportunity for remediation contractors and consultants. Environmental contractors from across the country have flocked to the Gulf in search of clean-up contracts. Over twenty-four thousand people are working as part of the response to the April 20th accident and its aftermath. The spill has created a wide array of jobs from remediation/spill response contractors to ship boat captains to day laborers. Many unemployed fishermen, construction workers, and general laborers are receiving OSHA HAZOPER training and aiding in the clean up. "We have received numerous phone calls about potential start-up businesses or companies opening up new divisions in this area," said Michael Tighe, Assistant Vice President at Beacon Hill Associates, a wholesale insurance broker and program administrator, specializing in the placement of environmental insurance.
Remediation Methods Used
More than 46,000 people - and nearly 7,000 boats - are now employed in the response1. While fishing business was struggling before the disaster, fishermen are now making $1,200 - $3,000 a day laying floating booms that contain oil once it rises to the surface. Where the oil collection is greatest they often create a "burning box", which is a controlled burn over the water. In the marshes and other wetlands, contractors are mopping the oily sheen with absorbent oil pads, wiping each blade of grass, which can be time-consuming labor. In open water, boats are equipped with oil/water separators that skim surface water and can extract two thousand barrels of oil per day. Thousands of workers comb the beach using shovels or shifting machines collecting tarballs on the sand. Unfortunately, oil can be buried underneath the sand, between tides, which will require sand incineration or other deeper cleaning methods.
Potential Coverage Issues
Below are some coverage issues agents should consider when obtaining Pollution insurance for their clients.
Action over - not all liability policies provide action over coverage. An employee of the contractor may potentially sue the project owner directly for liabilities suffered during the work. This type of claim occurs more frequently with remediation contractors.
Time element triggers - some policies limit pollution to a sudden/accidental trigger only whereby the pollution occurrence and claim filing must occur within a limited period of time (usually 72 hours). A policy that includes gradual pollution is more effective for emergency response contractors.
Coverage territory - The coverage territory within the policy may not include international waters.
Designated operations - Many Contractor Pollution policies provide coverage only for operations listed on the policy. If the contractor's work expands beyond what is listed, no coverage may be afforded.
Watercraft exclusions - there are specific limitations under a package General Liability and Pollution policy pertaining to the use and length of boats allowed.
Subcontracted work and construction management exclusions - if the remediation contractor is using subcontractors, liability may extend only if the sub meets specific qualifications and insurance requirements. Also, the supervision of subcontractors may not be covered unless a Professional Liability policy is in force.
Transportation and disposal issues - if the contractor is responsible for the transportation and disposal of waste, there may be no coverage afforded under a basic Contractors Pollution policy, should an incident occur beyond the boundaries of a job site. Limited coverage is attainable in the marketplace with proper information.
Product exposures - specific Product Pollution policies are available for manufacturers and distributors of chemical dispersants, separators, containment booms, etc. used in the spill response. Coverage can be written stand alone or in conjunction with a commercial General Liability policy.
Pollution definitions - vary greatly. Some do not include "waste" in their definition of a pollutant. If waste/refuse is not included in the definition, it may lead to gaps in completed operation and disposal coverage.
Property - hurricane and wind concerns - In addition to contracting pollution exposures there has also been interest in environmental coverages from property owners. In the midst of hurricane season, commercial property owners are becoming increasingly concerned that high winds may carry petro contaminants onto their premises. Interested parties are not only coastal, but miles away from shore. If the specified cause of loss is not the windstorm but rupture of the underwater well, many agents have found little or no pollution clean up coverage for real or personal property. The next wave of environmental contractors to the Gulf may be restoration contractors equipped to extract water and oil in and on buildings.
Due to the influx of submissions that environmental markets are receiving, they are starting to quantify the number insureds involved in the clean up effort. Additional supplemental applications may be needed to gauge the amount of on and off shore activities, as well as the amount of work subcontracted. Some carriers are limiting their exposure to coastal premises/site pollution policies, possibly offering coverage with higher retentions or without first party clean up triggers.
While agencies scramble to secure pollution coverage for their clients being affected by the oil spill in the Gulf, they should also get a clear picture of the prospective insured's scope of operations, contractual responsibilities, and qualifications. This is crucial in order to offer effective insurance solutions, as no two policies are the same in the environmental insurance marketplace.
Bill Pritchard is the President of Beacon Hill Associates, a leading broker of environmental insurance coverages such as energy related coverages and site pollution insurance. Beacon Hill Associates can be found online at:

Organic Cotton and Its Effect on the Environment

Our aim is to have decease free life for our family and self, To achieve this we have to be careful to be free from all harmful products from our life, as a basic step you can make it as a habit of using only cotton cloths. If we take it as a great in convenience that cotton cloths very easily get crumbled, it is so.
But we have to take the understanding why the pure cotton shows such a characteristic, that it do not contain the harmful chemical known as formaldehyde. The treatment of the chemical by formaldehyde is to save the trouble of saving the time to maintain the cotton cloths.
The using of Formaldehyde treated clothing allows you to live very closely with a cancer causing substance but in addition to that it is doing many damages on its way down.
Right from its planting stage the non organic cotton plant goes through several treatments of different chemicals, in the form of fertilizers and pesticides, for its protection and growth. These chemicals do not stay in one place once they do the job, they wash down directly to the eco system and then to rivers, ending up in the oceans. This ultimately results in the formation of dead zones as we found out in the Gulf of Mexico.
You can take a firm action of refusing to use the chemically treated cotton clothing. This is for the sake of safe guarding the environment. It will also give a strong signal to the industrialists who are engaged in the production of non organic cotton.
The bottle neck for the improvement of organic cotton movement is the lack of enthusiasm by the general people. When the movement really picks up and if the people really go for the high quality cotton products, only then the producers of non organic cotton will be forced in thinking of alternative cotton production processes. This will have to include the process right from the planting stage till the final treatment of the yarn. So as a natural result, the environmental damage will also be reduced considerably.
The next step is the maintenance of your cotton clothing which is organic. The cotton fabric will hold on foreign particles for long and if you use the chemical substance for washing then there are chances that chemical particles will stay in the threads. When you are using natural and organic detergents you can be sure that you are no more holding any harmful products.
Getting involved in natural organic cotton clothing is indeed a step towards the green living. You have to be systematic, from clothing your next step may be for organic food and other organically prepared cleaning products.
We have to bear in mind that making a life style of organic clothing and eating organic food is a very positive step towards a healthy environment of our future generation. By eating organic food you may not be gaining more minerals but you can be sure that you are consuming less harmful products directly into your system and dumping then into the environment.
William Suburn
Obtain additional facts concerning modern organic products 

Cremation or Burial - Carbon Emissions and the Environment

The trend toward more "green" funerals and burials is rooted in being more environmentally friendly, as well as, lowering costs. For example, each year, 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid which includes formaldehyde and other hazardous chemicals. Buried caskets contain 90,272 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze and 30-plus million board feet of hardwoods. Cremation and burial vaults contain 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete and 14,000 tons of steel. These statistics were complied from some very reliable sources which include: Casket and Funeral Association of America, Cremation Association of North America, Doric Inc., The Rainforest Action Network, and Mary Woodsen, Pre-Posthumous Society.
In addition, Casket manufacturers are listed on the EPA's top 50 hazardous waste generators list due to chemicals such as methyl and xylene used in the protective finish sprayed on the caskets exterior. On a segment of a Fresh Air interview on NPR, Mark Harris, author of "Grave Matters: Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial" told host Terry Gross that the amount of wood from coffins located in a ten-acre cemetery is enough to build 40 houses and that there is enough concrete to build swimming pools for all of them.
On the surface cremation seems like a more friendly and convenient way to deal with the bodily remains of a loved one. But, let's consider the impact of this truly industrial process. Like most modem, natural-gas devices, the technology is becoming more efficient and clean burning; however the amount of non-renewable fossil fuel needed to cremate bodies in North America is equivalent to a car making 84 trips to the Moon and back... each year.
There is also a growing body of research that indicates cremation has a significant impact on the environment. Cremations lead to emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen chloride (HCl), NMVOCs, and other heavy metals, in addition to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP). The United Nations indicates that crematoria contribute 0.2% of the global emission of dioxins and furans.
"Green burials" in a "green cemetery" seem to be a viable alternative to both traditional burials and to cremations. Centennial Park Cemetery in the South Australian state capital of Adelaide said it had studied the carbon impact of burials and cremations. The Centennial Park Cemetery carries out more than 900 burials and around 3,300 cremations a year. Cemetery chief executive Bryan Elliott said that every cremation created around 160 kg (353 pounds) of carbon dioxide, compared to 39 kg of carbon dioxide for each burial. But when the cost of maintaining grave sites, mostly covered by lawns at Centennial Park, is taken into account, cremations came out 10 percent greener than burials. "This is because we must look after the gravesite for a number of years by watering and mowing the surrounding lawn area and maintaining the concrete beam on which the headstone is placed," Elliott said. "Burial is a more labor and resource intensive process, consumes more fuels and produces larger quantities of waste than cremation" added Elliott.
Ok, so both cremation and traditional burials have both been found to be environmentally unfriendly. So what's the best alternative? One thought is to use a nature preserve setting where funeral preparations and then burial is handled in a "green" way. The pollution impact is minimized and the beautiful forest-like setting is used to create a natural environment that is aesthetically beautiful and multi-functional. It can serve as both a cemetery and park to celebrate the environment and, celebrate life.
So, which is really preferable? I am not suggesting cremation over burial, or vice versa; I am simply suggesting that whichever choice you make, make sure it is what the deceased wanted and that it is a most natural and beautiful celebration of that person's life.
Hal Stevens is President of CemeterySpot, Inc. [] an online memorial website and blog. To schedule an interview, or discuss this article, please call Hal Stevens at 405-210-4363 or email Hal at

Hal Stevens - EzineArticles Expert Author