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. Larry

    It's a disaster for my vacation plans, I know that much!!!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kwilkinson

    Don't you find your comment a bit narcissistic? Who cares about your vacation plans? Not me. I think you should more concerned about the immediate impact this disaster will have on wildlife and the like. You can reschedule your vacation plans.

    May 1, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sandi

    I am astonished that you would actually post that this is a disaster for your vacation plans. How sad. The world is being affected here. The world. An entire population of plants and animals. Lives have been lost. And you comment about your vacation. Shame on you. If you will be there, see what you can do to help. Every gesture, every small step to make this situation better will make it better. If everyone with the ability to help did, this would not be as catastrophic.

    May 1, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Miles

    Sorry your vacation plans got ruined. I'm sure the millions of suffering animals aren't too thrilled about this ecological devastation as well...

    May 1, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lee

    Obviously you were trying to upset those of us who are already upset and worried sick about what this will mean for the wildlife that will suffer. Shame on you, Larry. I wish I could tell you how I REALLY feel about people like you!

    May 1, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tilly

    I am wondering what the crocodiles will eat if their environment is not avalaible any more?
    Happy vacation

    May 1, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ken Skelps

    Cost to US Fishing & Tourism Industry – Many comments are now appearing about loss of revenue and the specter of bankruptcy for Gulf Cost fishing and tourism industries. This is a direct cost of the oil drilling operation by British Petroleum and as such is their financial responsibility. BP must be made to pay for any loss of revenues that are the consequences of the oil spill and its environment impact.

    May 1, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dorothy Odom

    I am just sick about all of this. First of all the men who lost their lives . One was of the men was trying to get the men off when the explosion happened. He had a six year old son at home. Please Pray for those familes.
    Second the sport fishing, is going to be gone for a long time. Lives are going to change. People who make a living by this will now have no business. Please pray for them.
    Third the wildlife, this is so sad. So many different birds, ect... are going to die. Please pray for the wildlife.
    Forth it is not time to blame, it is time for action. I hope and pray all who can will get involved in helping clean up and fix the problem.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. jeff labonte

    Vacation be damned! This is my yard that BP in its arrogance has destroyed for the rest of my mortal life. I live on my boat to save what little money I now have and was free to sail the Gulf Coast at my desire. Once that oil gets into the Gulfstream currents the eastern seaboard of the USA is in danger. The Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas, two fragile ecosystems will be destroyed. The Carribean is in danger.
    Now, my question, is this life following art? Does anyone remember "THE PELICAN BRIEF"? Weird,no?
    J of the sailing vessel, Annanas

    May 1, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nathan

    As a former envirmental activist, this is the wrost disaster of cataclysmic purportions I believe America has ever seen. We as a nation should all take into account what this oil slick will do to our vast delicate coastal habitat for wildlife. But more importantly, recognize how we as a nation can pull together to assist with what can be done to help the clean-up effort and protect what can be saved. Think of the big picture people, how will the slick impact the next generation from an enviormental standpoint.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Healthcare for birds?? Hmmm, approx. 25-30,000 children starve to death every 24 hours on this planet. Approx. 45-50 million Americans have limited or no healthcare. Well, I hope those birds and other wildlife make a full recovery. Then they can get jobs, pay their bills and taxes and contribute to society. Healthcare for birds?? By all means.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sharkman

    As bad a the Valdez acccident was, it effected the relativly narrow shoreline and could be cleaned up. In bayou country the shoreline is not 10 feet deep, but 10 miles deep. It will be impossible to clean up the mess. Also there was only so much oil to be spilled from a ship, there is a virtually limitless supply from this well.Stricter regulations could have prevented this, but in Washington, the needs of the few always outweigh the needs of the many. I also noticed that the plan to plug the well involved not just plugging the well, but drilling another well all the way down to get the oil. Wouldn’t it be easier to just drill to 50ft deep and plug the broken well there instead of all the way down to the oil? But then they wouldn’t have a well anymore.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ALEASHA

    This whole entire disaster will affect not only birds but people. It isn't right to say that one holds a higher standard than the other. We are all living and breathing. The vacation comment guy reminds me of what's wrong with this society. Selfish individuals need to understand that if we don't help fix / clean up this problem it will impact future generations.

    May 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Phil4us

    What caused the explosion? Why isn't all kinds of hell being raised about finding the cause of the explosion that caused this to happen?

    May 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. atheist god

    @John "Healthcare for birds"

    Perhaps we should just kill every unnecessary animal or creature that humans have no need for. That way we won't need to save anything unnecessary. I like your was of thinking John, <-Sarcasm!

    I think every animal or creature has a purpose on this planet. Eighter it eats deases causing creatures, or keeps another races under control. It is a delicate balance of land and sea. There are purposes we dont understand yet, medically, envriromentally, or even in an extra sense.

    Don't worry though. Were successfully killing off all the species on this planet by destroying habitat and polutants. Next will be ourselves through war, polutants, enviroment, and global changes (like in weather patterns, freshwater like rainfall, and heat in like uncontolable deseases).

    Oh well, nature has a way of fixing itself. Even if it means killing off human habitat and causing mass extinction. The best thing for this earth is the extintion of humans. But some other speices (with more intelligence) will amerge a billion years from now and probally repeat the cycle.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
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