From Oil to Ocean

Over the last several years, oil spills have contributed to a major issue in our environment. According to Carolyn Embach, author of Oil Spills: Impact on the Ocean, 706 million gallons of oil enter our oceans every year. The source of it being primarily through land drainage and waste disposal.

Because oils are non-polar, therefore they do not readily react with polar substances such as water, they begin to coagulate and form clumps in the ocean. Eventually, the oil clumps will decompose due to energy emitted from the sun as well as break down from natural microorganisms. In turn, further interactions with land particles may cause disruption of life on land. The toxic substances emitted also cause damage to marine wildlife, which ultimately effects the ecosystem and the environment.

There are various ways to recover from oil spills. Some of these methods include pollution-control and adding substances to help break down oils. However, the length of recovery is dependent on the severity of the spills and natural conditions.

I think that one of the reasons that oil spills is an issue that needs to be addressed is because it doesn’t only effect humans but it effects wildlife as well. A possible preventative measure would be to increase regulations. For example, requiring frequent routine maintenance checks on ships to insure less oil leaks. Pollution as a whole is harmful to our environment and animals, but oil spills and water pollution tend to have a lasting effect and have proven to be difficult to recover from.

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