Week 5 Written Assignment – The Environmental Impact of an Oil Spill Due to the world’s reliance on oil, there have been many oil
spills in recent history during the transport of oil from its point of origin to its destination. In 1989, the oil freighter, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground in Alaska dumping thousands of barrels worth of oil into the ocean that affected the entire area of the accident site and miles of Alaskan seashore. Numerous other oil spills have occurred around the world since that time in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. In April 2010, the worst oil spill in the United States’ history, if not the world, occurred when the oil drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, located in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded on April 20, 2010. Since that time, thousands of barrels worth of oil has been pouring into the ocean and after 60 days, there was no sign of the leak abating. Several attempts to stop the leak had failed. The immediate repercussions of this disaster are obvious but many fail to realize the long-term impact an oil spill of this size will have on the environment. For your assignment, we will look at the impact of the Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill and its impact on the environment. Please prepare a 3 – 5 (maximum) page paper responding to the following questions: What events led to cause the oil drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, to explode on April 20, 2010? How did the oil disperse in the water and earby shorelines? What coastal areas were most affected? Least affected? What attempts were made by the owner of the oil drilling rig, British petroleum company, BP, to clean up the spill in the Gulf? Which were successful? Which were not? What were the environmental impacts of the oil spill? Will these impacts be short-term in length or long-term? What were the human impacts due to the oil spill? Again, look at the immediate impacts as well as the long-term impacts. Should those living in the region of the spill be concerned about their health ten years later due to the spill? What economic impacts will occur due to the size of this oil spill and its
effect on the environment?
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