Environmental Impacts

Impacts on the Birds and Fish

In this part the effects of the oil spill on the life of sea birds, pelicans, fish, turtles, marine mammals, and gulls are shown mainly through the images that were published in 2010. In 2016 US government sources said more than 100,000 birds were killed as a result of the BP oil spill (US Fish and Wildlife Service, www.fws.gov). There were particular concerns about the lives of brown pelicans and piping glovers. Figure 5.1 shows oil-covered brown pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana coast on June 3, 2010.

In just a six-week period prior to June 7,292 birds were brought to the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana, of which 96 were brown pelicans. The birds were rescued and transported to the Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center by well-trained and knowledgeable wildlife responders, veterinarians, and biologists (NCAR, June 7). The US Interior Secretary toured the center and watched bird cleaning by the volunteers as shown in Figures 5.2 and 5.3.

Figures 5.4 and 5.5 show how brown pelicans struggle against oil waves in water off the coast of Louisiana as covered by oil from Deepwater Horizon rig oil spill. Figure 5.6 shows a seabird dead as a result of the BP oil spill on Elmer’s Island.

Oiled pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico, June 3,2010 (source

FIGURE 5.1 Oiled pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico, June 3,2010 (source: coomns.wikimedia •org).

A volunteer rescues a brown pelican at Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center (NCAR, June 7) left

FIGURE 5.2 A volunteer rescues a brown pelican at Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center (NCAR, June 7) left.

Cleaning an oiled baby brown pelican chick at the BP 2010 Gulf oil spill response at Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center in Buras, Louisiana on June 22

FIGURE 5.3 Cleaning an oiled baby brown pelican chick at the BP 2010 Gulf oil spill response at Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center in Buras, Louisiana on June 22 (photo by International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRCJ/Flickr) right.

Figure 5.7 shows some brown pelicans perched above oil-stained waters in Grand Isle, Louisiana, on June 19.

A pod of bottlenose dolphins swimming under the oily water in Chandeleur Sound, La., is shown in Figure 5.8 in May 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. As the Gulf

An oiled brown pelican struggles off the coast of Louisiana

FIGURE 5.4 An oiled brown pelican struggles off the coast of Louisiana.

Birds struggling with oil from the Louisiana coast as a result of the BP oil spill (Flickr.com)

FIGURE 5.5 Birds struggling with oil from the Louisiana coast as a result of the BP oil spill (Flickr.com).

A seabird dead as a result of BP oil spill

FIGURE 5.6 A seabird dead as a result of BP oil spill.

Grand Isle, Louisiana-June 19,2010

FIGURE 5.7 Grand Isle, Louisiana-June 19,2010: brown pelicans perch above oil-stained waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

oil disaster continued, BP was containing less than half of the daily leakage. Damage undersea was just as bad as on the oil-stained coastlines (CBS, June 13). On May 27 a new' plume stretching 22 miles w'as found under the sea near Mobile, Alabama, as reported by scientists of Florida State University (CBS May 27).

Dolphins swim under the oil water in Chandeleur Sound, La

FIGURE 5.8 Dolphins swim under the oil water in Chandeleur Sound, La.

 
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