Term Paper: Oil Spills

Sample Term Paper

“Oil that does not evaporate, dissolve, disperse, photo-oxidize, burn or biodegrade while in the water generally does the most damage. This oil, often in the form of mousse or tar lumps, may cling to small particles, sink, and lodge in bottom sediments, or it may wash ashore. It may also be ingested by animals in the water, and then excreted to the seafloor. This oil often persists for months or years. Oil in rocky areas within powerful waves and tides, such as Prince William Sound, tends to be removed more quickly. Oil in sheltered areas such as marshes and lagoons remains the longest” (Hollander 120).

In cases where the spilled oil is of a nature such that it starts to mix with water, the implications are equally disastrous. This is because of the fact that the oil, once mixed with water, causes an immediate rise in the water’s density to take place. As a result, the marine life present in those waters that is present because the nature of the water provides a suitable habitat is threatened for its safety. The marine life therefore is contaminated and severely damaged in turn (Bailey). Mammals in the sea and on the coast line are affected to disastrous extents since they are not capable of distinguishing between a spill and natural water let alone food for prey that has been contaminated by an oil spill already. The oil spill therefore becomes the cause for the damaging of the animals’ immune systems. The spilled oil can be absorbed through the thin skins of eggs and mutate with the larvae to cause the occurrence in deformities.

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