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. atheist god

    @Phil4us

    The problem right now is how to fix the current situation at hand. Then point fingers and figure out how to prevent it from happening again later. Just like it should happen.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kermit Roosevelt

    There is an interesting theory that I think should be out there more.

    Is it possible that this was the result of Iranian espionage?

    Look at the benefits:
    1) Iran's long-time enemy, British Petroleum, the entity behind the overthrow of the only democratically elected government in Iran;s history in the 1950s, suffers a devastating blow.
    2) Resumption of US drilling and our ultimate return to self-reliance regarding energy is a direct threat to Iran's core revenue commodity. This has set it back a decade at least.
    3) Calamitous environmental disaster to US soil.

    A trifecta for the Mullahs, and all without slamming planes into buildings or screaming like bearded or burqa'd fanatics. Major damage done to their enemies and they benefit quietly.

    Anyone think this is a crazy idea?

    May 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary vegan in illinois

    Larry, Your an idiot,there will be thousand of sea birds,dolphins,endangered sea turtles and all other creatures affected for a long time by this!!Its that kind of mentality that show how ignorant we are as the human species!! I don't care about the human toll,all i care about is the toll to the envirorment!!!

    May 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tracey

    Hey Larry! WE SHOULD ALL TAKE THAT VACATION!

    Take your vacation! And use the time to help those folks down there clean that mess up. I think everyone should KEEP their plans to vacation in the affected areas. I bet the whole experience will change your life. And isn't that what a vacation is about? It is not often such opportunities come our way! Contact the local agencies and non profits that will be helping with the spill and volunteer. If I could afford to go down there – I would. And I am sure I am not alone. You are lucky you have the ability and means to help! Go for it! Make a freaking difference!

    Tracey R – Virginia Beach

    May 2, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. paul

    This is a disaster on SO many levels. What this does to all the sea life, the ecosystem, and people's livelihoods is very sad. I see pictures of oil soaked birds and I am happy that people are rescuing them. The long term effect this will have on the ecosystem and the people who live there is terrible. BP needs to take the lead on stopping the spill and the cleanup effort.

    One thing to consider (I know this won't be a popular comment) is what it does to future attempts to drill for our own oil. This sets us back 10 years. Now we have to continue financing countries like Iran who will produce nuclear weapons to use against us and our allies. While the damage an oil spill does to animals and people is horrible, one nuke is much worse.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jon

    Hasn't anyone heard of people that deal with discomfiting situations with inappropriate humor? For such an idiot he apparently is, you've all taken the time to give him attention. Personally, I ignore idiots.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. lynn

    I absolutely agree with kwilkinson...who cares about your vacation, you can't reschedule loss of habitat and wildlife..just ask those who are still recovering from Valdez. These big oil companies are unbelievable, they will attempt to take action but they only care about the money lost in the oil.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. lynn

    Sharkman, unfortunately to date the ecosystem from Valdez is not restored and still suffers the effects and that was from a tanker, imagine how long it will be with a rig.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. LindaAlex

    It’s looking to be the worst US ecological disaster – Blame should first be with the lobbyists who were able to pay their way to allow the United States to waive the need of shut-off valves for these oil rigs. Some countries, like Brazil, did not bow to oil industry pressures and require stricter safety measures. They used their brain and not their pocketbook. Next, we need to look at the US government officials who allowed these lobbyists to have their way. These government officials should be ousted. How do the Republicans feel now that they wouldn’t act on a clean energy bill unless oil drilling was included? Could this be the reason why the clean energy bill that was to be brought to the floor of the Senate last Monday, 26th April was cancelled? And then Graham blamed it on something else. Amazing! Does it take a disaster of this magnitude to change the corrupt government ways? Time will tell, but I won't hold my breath.
    Humans are destroying the planet day by day. What will it take to learn?
    All of this truly makes me sick.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Constance Stanson

    THIS IS SO SAD, I FEEL SO STRONGLY FOR WILDLIFE. MAN CAUSES THE PROBLEMS AND IT'S THE POOR WILDLIFE THAT HAS TO SUFFER. MAY OUR GOD REACH OUT AND TOUCH THE HEART OF MAN TO COME FORWARD AND HELP OUT IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS. CONNIE

    May 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vacation Plans

    Reschedule my vavation? but it will be years before the environmental impacts start to subside and the wildlife start coming back. I won't ever be able to fish off the mouth of the Mississippi River due to the Biomagnification of the oil and heavy metals in the fish. This is terrible my child will never have the fishing trip.

    May 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. save the gulf

    I was going to go to Tampa July and i was looking forward to going deep sea fishing but i guess it gona be ruined

    May 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Strogg

    This was bound to happen eventually, we're not perfect nor is our technology, it was inevitable. We as humans all share in the responsibility, I don't care if a person lives in North Dakota, every time you fill up at the pump, you enable this, you enable the middle eastern countries to maintain diplomatic control that affects the security of everyone on this planet. If a country like Iran didn't have oil, the name would almost never come up, these wars wouldn't occur either. It had nothing to do with WMD, it's about resources. I guess I ran slightly off topic, but in reality, I don't think so...

    It could be months before they stop the leak, we won't know for a long time how bad this will be. Furthermore even then, we still won't know, it's so complex, so the experts say.

    Society needs a fundamental change, from the top down, not this left and right nonsense. The monetary system is nothing more than a modern day slavery mechanism. The free market is just the opposite. We're an ignorant society(among many others) that only pretend to care when something terrible happens that can be counted in dollars, not lives. How many Iraqi and Aphgan civilians have lost their lives since 2003? Add that to coalition forces, the destruction of entire cities. Yay for patriotism, well done Bush, Cheney, their fear propaganda machine succeeded in scaring Americans into supporting this war, does not every single person question themselves? Two illegal wars, 12 trillion in debt, a bailout that kills the value of the dollar... What's gonna happen when the government can't pay it's interest on its loans, we they can't pay any money owed to China? We both get the majority of our oil from Iran, we're enabling them, but it's okay, so long as it's convenient.

    The neurosis of our society has reached an all time high, I haven't heard a word of the RACIST laws put into action in Arizona, in two days. The media plays a role in all of this as well.

    We have so much to be proud for....-sarcasm. Now we'll suffer more, and our environment...

    Well will we realize the only way we can survive on this planet is to understand our role, the planet is a precious eco-system and we're a part of this, symbiotic relationship. We must orient ourselves properly, we have no choice. Those that understand this, well we feel pretty damn helpless. We need proper implementation of a resource-based economy, this is the only way we will all get along, and survive on this planet. Our monetary system isn't sustainable, and it perpetuates the kind of slavery, and tragedies that we're seeing.

    This is all very pathetic, we're slowly digging our own graves, and when it comes time to die, we won't try to fight back, we'll demand it, think about that.

    Perhaps Jacque Fresco is right, and was right all along. Regardless, I'm out. Enough time wasted, nobody cares, if people did, none of our problems would be as they are, many wouldn't even exist.

    If you can't get to the coast to help, and feel responsible, becasuse we all are, lets educate ourselves, and realize all the governments of the world do not have our interests or that of the environment a priority, they only play the role, to get where they are, and we pretend these 'democratic' elections give us the right to choose, right. Two pre-selected individuals, that's freedom? Did anyone here lobby for or against regulations for safety for off shore drilling? No. Did anyone here vote for the two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? No.

    Eh..later.

    May 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jules S

    Turtles, manatees, rays, sharks, otters, dolphins, whales, seabirds, (and land dwelling birds too!), fish, tortoises, frogs, salamanders... MANY of the species are already endangered DUE TO NEGATIVE HUMAN ACTIVITIES. This is such a tragedy...

    PLEASE TAKE A STAND AGAINST DIRT ENERGY!

    SAY NO TO FOSSIL FUELS!

    DEMAND SUSTAINABLE & RENEWABLE ENERGY!

    May 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. marcela

    That "Larry" guy seems to be like the typical "UNEDUCATED" man that Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Beck recruit on the radio. Sad that uneducated men who failed miserably in college or dropped out of college because they could not stand to have professors that challenged their intellect (if they had one), brainwash MORE ignorant people like this Larry guy. GREED, like the greed of British Petroleum, and the politicians who DEREGULATE to have them make money are the culprits of those workers dying in the explosion and to the thousands of animals that will suffer and die from this disaster.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
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