Why The Oil Spill Matters • Cost: cleanup and recovery will cost several billion dollars: $1,000,000,000.00 • Impact: marine and wetland ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico are experiencing massive disturbances, and may never recover completely.
What Happened • A safety device on an ultra-deepwater oil well failed during development of the well. • The well head is about a mile (5,000 ft) under water!
The Cause of the Explosion that Killed 11 Workers and Sank the Platform is Unknown
Fixing the Leak • Several methods have been tried, but the leak continues. • This is the first major oil spill that is not human accessible.
“…Not Human Accessible…” • Because the well is so deep, only robots can do the work of fixing it.
Impact on Ecosystems • Oil is an abiotic factor that has a BIG impact on ecosystems
Wetland Ecosystems • A wetland ecosystem is one where the soil is saturated with water. • They are also called marshes, swamps, bogs, and in Louisiana, the Bayou. Louisiana Bayou
Wetland Importance • Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse type of ecosystem. • Many organisms including fish, birds, and many invertebrates use wetlands as breeding grounds and nurseries for their young. Sandhill Crane, and nest
Some Prokaryotes Eat Oil • But it takes a long time, and uses a lot of oxygen, which can create “dead zones”
The Brown Pelican is the State Bird of Louisiana. It was taken off of the Endangered Species List last Winter, but will be Back on Soon.
What Can We Do? • Donate to the clean up: • National Wildlife Federation • Text “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to donate $10 • Boycott BP products until the clean up is over and paid for? • But Most Importantly…
Demand Clean Energy • Fossil fuels are dangerous pollutants that cause global warming when burned. • We are all responsible for the spill, because we all use the oil. • Let your Senators, Representatives, and even President Obama know we need a clean, renewable energy future!
Ecosystem Diagram Activity • Read the CNN article describing the impacts of the oil spill. • Use the information provided to complete