April 30th, 2010
08:55 PM ET

Oil spill could be disaster for animals, experts say

A huge oil spill oozing toward the Gulf Coast on Thursday threatens hundreds of species of wildlife, some in their prime breeding season, environmental organizations said.

The Coast Guard said Wednesday that the amount of oil spilling from an underwater well after an oil rig explosion last week has increased to as many as 5,000 barrels of oil a day, or 210,000 gallons, five times more than what was originally believed.

Although efforts to minimize the damage are under way and options under consideration include asking the U.S. military for assistance, wildlife conservation groups say the oil could pose a "growing environmental disaster."

 "The terrible loss of 11 workers (unaccounted for after the rig explosion) may be just the beginning of this tragedy as the oil slick spreads toward sensitive coastal areas vital to birds and marine life and to all the communities that depend on them," said Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for the Louisiana Coastal Initiative, in a statement.

Coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida could be at risk, the organization said.

 Read the full CNN.com story

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Todd Auspitz

    It is very unfortunate that "We The People" are experiencing such a tragic incident. This is one of the risk of off shore drilling. The industry needs to learn from this experience and so does our government.

    Every industry has some type of risk involved, some industries more than others. The chances of a tragic incident, like this one, increase over time. Now is that time.

    I asked myself, "When was the last time there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?" I just turned 40 years old in April and could not think of any incident like this happening in the Gulf of Mexico during my lifetime. It is not like we have oil rig failures all the time in the Gulf of Mexico. I believe the industry has been successful in the Gulf region and this is just one tragic black eye to everyone. So the next question should be, "Did the oil industry (BP) or the government become complacent with the inherent risks involved with off shore drilling?" Another question, "Did the the industry (BP) or the government become complacent with contingency plans for such an incident?"

    It appears the industry has not done adequate failure analysis for such an incident like this one, and it also appears the contingency plans for incident of this nature are flawed. This is where it is apparent complacency has set in.

    So should we stop drilling in the Gulf? I would think not considering much of our oil does come from the Gulf. Should we push for more sustainable alternative energy? Absolutely yes. It is a matter of creating a balance of many different sources of energy.

    The financial responsibility for cleanup should absolutely be BP and any other stakeholder of this well head.

    BP needs to step up and be a good corporate citizen with this matter. Also, other oil corporations, foreign and domestic, need to come together to assist BP with additional resources and assets to stop the flow of oil from the well head. The industry as a whole needs an "A Team" of assets and technical support ready for deployment for incidents such as this. Where is the "A Team" now?

    May 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. helena

    Some comments here are really out of place! John: are you saying that a human life is worth more than a bird's life? I really can't believe that you mean what you said here, because this thought is so ignorant, immoral, sad and just stupid. What do starving people have to do with the golf coast disaster anyways? And your comment ,Larry, about your vacation plans??? You must be an idiot!! Do you even realize what dramatic impact this disaster will have on wildlife, nature and also – not as important though – on the economy?
    It is also ridiculous that a little car bomb in New York can attract so much interest in the media, while the situation at the gulf coast is far from being under control!! Unbelievable! But on the other hand – sadly enough – it shows once again how priorities are set, by the U.S. government, by the media, even by the public majority – no surprise that the outcome of climate conference in Copenhagen last november was so disappointing. It is almost a shame that people are not directly affected by this oil spill, because in that case the effort to get the situation under control would certainly be much higher.
    How many more ecolocigal disasters do we need to finally realize that nature is not 'just recovering'? That there is just one planet earth?
    When do we finally realize that we are part of the environment we're destroying? What else must happen before we are ready to take care ot the environment and change our lifestyle? And why are there still people out there that what happened here is not that serious either? But it is, and there is no reason to be optimistic here. Pictures of these poor birds covered in oil are breaking my heart!

    May 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Geoff

    I find this whole situation disturbing as do the rest of you. However to publicly bash someone over a comment made is a joke! Yeah it's his vacation ruined, so what, he just voiced what was in his head at the time. And all of you jumped his case. Grow up get a life, whatever happened to common courtesy.

    May 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sally

    This is a tragedy of epic proportions. Those of us posting to this blog may not even see, if it happens, the recovery. Understanding that the balnce of our ecosystem has been upset is what matters here. Pay attention people and pray for the families of those lost and the wildlife in imminent danger.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Amy

    I totally agree with Geoff! Larry made one comment and he was bashed by many.

    May 2, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Corinna

    I completely disagree with Amy and Geoff. Yes, Larry was making a comment but I think he's a complete idiot and a selfish individual for worrying about his stupid vacation. Really you three?? Keep you ignorance and lack of respect to yourself! Thats why you have thoughts, so it doesnt stir up anyone else...FILTER! This blog is here so that many can express their sympathy and motivate others to take action. In readin alot of these posts, it makes me sad to think that all these people sit here and complain and do absolutely nothing to help fix the situation. Atleast I can say that I will be down there Wednesday to help. How long will I be gone? I dont know. All I know is that I will be making sacrifices to help the greater good..our earth. I care about people and I care about wildlife but I'm sick and tired of people complaining about "birds with health care" or "I dont care about humans, just the ecosystem" because honestly when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it being you or an animal? I dont care what you're saying now, I'll call you on BS if you try to tell me that you'd choose an animals life over your own. First instinct? Self preservation! So quit lying to yourself and others and be real. Stop complaining if YOU are not going to take action, no matter how small or mundane it may be. No one wants to hear your words, they want to see progress, solutions!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. jesse

    Why does the obama not just give the orders to drop a napon bomb over the oil slick area this will reduce the amount of oil going to the coast. The clean up would be less.
    Lets give it a shot before its too late

    May 3, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    Jesse...can you evaluate the impact of dropping a bomb for just a second?
    Do you care about wildlife? Ok, now think what can happen if you drop a big bomb there..Todd the industry will NEVER learn from their mistakes..saw what happened a few weeks ago with the ship on Australia? Did they learn?
    We are the people who can make the change, they will NEVER change..we need to STOP consumming their products...I repeat...they will NEVER change...WE have to make the change NOW...for us, for our planet and for all the lives that are inside this beautiful planet earth!

    Larry..you will miss your vacations for some more years now..

    May 3, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. John

    I'm sure the person posting about their vacation was either 1) facetious, or 2) a republican.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Antonia

    Larry has a right to his comment about his vacation plans being ruined at the beach. It's not an uneducated response to such a disaster. It's one of the responses many people have been making ongoing. In fact, the tourist industry has already been negatively affected and this is hurting the Gulf Coast economy. To make any additional inferences about Larry based on his exclamation that his vacation plans are ruined is far fetched.

    Be real – The oil spill is adversely affecting (ongoing) the wildlife of the ocean and the beaches it falls upon. Since the beaches/coast line is also human habitat and crude oil can have negative impact on a person's health, it is also endangering the health and well-being of the humans who live and/or work near the beaches/coast line. Animals, plants, and humans alike are being negatively impacted. Look also at the economic impact that includes loss revenue due to loss in fishing and tourist industries. Larry, by the way, is one of the lost tourist revenues.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marsha Gowan

    God gave us this beautiful earth, and everthing we needed to live and prosper, It is well on its way to being totally annihilated.

    May 3, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. rire

    Well, I guess this answers the big question of "Should we have off shore drilling?"

    May 3, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Audrey

    I personally think that all of you who are so judgemental to Larry should take a joke? I am doing a report in class on this issue and I am quite aware of its serverity. There are many animals and marine life who will hopefully be spared from this catastrophic disaster! I hope that all who can afford to go down there and give a hand will certainly do so... Just think these animals did not do anything to deserve to die

    May 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TR

    Hurricanes pick up moisture as they travel. They energize themselves while moving into the warm gulf water. They sweep over the eastern US and dump all that moisture. BP is dumping toxin in the gulf to disperse oil. It is a danger to humans and wildlife.
    If I'm right – I hope I'm not – this would make hurricanes and other weather systems toxic? Should we consider this before we poison the water? Is my logic correct? Has anyone read or head anything on this subject?

    Are the dispersants being used causing these animals to die? It all scares me. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/04/gulf.oil.spill.dispersant/ Other articles say this dispersant is more toxic. We know more about how to clean up oil, but do we really know what this stuff does long term? I keep reading and reading...trying to make sense of this stuff and decide what is the right thing.

    I feel worried, angry, guilty, but motivated in a more positive direction. It really is up to us to change.
    I did stop driving to work, and have had a long talk with my kids. We are now raising money and taking small steps toward a "greener" lifestyle. Simply because it is the right thing to do.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sffy

    Your vacation is ruined, but wildlife is destroyed. Your private life is insignificant in comparison with the private life of these animals. Come on, grew up!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
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