The lakes and oceans of the world are spectacular works of creation which God designed for man to enjoy and to give God praise the wonder of His glory. However, manmade disasters, which impacts these magnificent bodies of water has destroyed the beauty of God’s work in some destructive ways.
What if the waters of our beautiful lakes and oceans just suddenly turned toxic? How would the world appear? The answer is certainly not a wonderful thing to imagine!
Industrious accidents, especially great oil spills, harm marine environments, kill thousands of seabirds and otters as well as other sea animals and destroy the fishing business. Fishes become contaminated and unfit to eat.
A few of the most notable oil spills in history are as follows:
- Ixtoc Oil Well, Mexico, 1979, gallons of oil spilled: 140 million
- Atlantic Empress, 1979, West Indie: gallons of oil spilled: 88.3 million
- Fergana Valley, 1992, Uzbekistan: gallons of oil spilled: 87.7 million
- Nowruz Oil Field, 1983, Person Gulf: gallons of oil spilled: 80 million
- Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, 2010, Gulf of Mexico, gallons of oil spilled: 210 million
Light Oil vs. Heavy Oil Spills
Our oceans are harmed by two types of oil spills: Light and Heavy. Although light oil, including gasoline and diesel, evaporate quickly, it is harmful in many ways. First, it can explode if ignited by flames. Second, light oil destroys plants and animals it encounters. Third, it is very toxic to humans. Breathing its fumes can lead to extreme sickness, even death.
On the other hand, heavy oils do not evaporate quickly. Its impact can last for years and causes permanent damage if not removed. Heavy oils are used to fuel ships, although it is not as toxic as light oil spills.
Restoration & Cleanup Cost
If not removed, heavy oil spills will smother marine life and cause tumors in many organisms. Animals such as seabirds and otters perish. Fish and shrimp industries also suffer greatly.
Both oil types reap havoc on the environment. The more that oil spills occur, the more the accumulated effects of these spills ruins the marine environment.
Furthermore, the cost of cleanup, both in manpower and equipment is enormous. The cleanup effort often has a double impact. For instance, money which can be used in other areas of research and development is applied to environmental restoration efforts.
Also, animals and aquatic life are interrupted by the cleanup process. Sometimes it takes years for full restoration to occur, interfering with the various habitats of marine life.
Great oil spills should be prevented if marine life in our oceans and seas are going to survive. The effects of global warming are terrible enough.
Prevention must begin with education and training. Oil workers must be trained to detect early warning signs which could lead catastrophic oil spills. More effective strategies for cleanup efforts must be developed more effectively if oil spills do occur.
Stricter governmental policies must be passed to force big oil companies to manage oil refiners and check for quality of equipment and process. Ship tanks must be checked for damage and routes must be safe and secure for passage.
Our marine environment, including whales, sea turtles, otters, seabirds and many other species, cry out loud and clears that the oil spills must stop. Each year countless marine animals desperately drift ashore, washing upon the beaches. No one understands the real reason. It remains a mystery. Could it be that the accumulation of great oil spills has finally taken a permanent, long term effect?