Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Haley Reading Group: “Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea”


[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2016)]

Cynthia A. Campbell

Antonia Juhasz’s article “Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea” focuses on the impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Juhasz illuminates how the thirty million gallons of oil remaining on the ocean floor is affecting the ecological balance. Ultimately, the article speaks to the continued efforts of oil companies to extract oil from the ocean despite the risk of further disasters.

Juhasz’s discussion of the phytoplankton was especially enlightening. At one point, Juhasz notes that “[this] sea vegetation...produces about half of the planet’s oxygen.” This point indicates the vital importance of a healthy ocean ecosystem.

After reading Juhasz’s article, what was one point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that viewed as especially important to consider? Why? Please provide a page number citation.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that I saw as being very important to consider was the section of the chapter regarding the phytoplankton. The book mentioned that phytoplankton are "...the sea vegetation that produces about half of the planet’s oxygen." I found this particularly important and concerning as this oil spill is more devastating then I have ever thought it was. Especially as I read, “If you short-circuit the bottom, you threaten the entire cycle, without a healthy ocean, we’ll all be dead.” Some of these organisms are vital to our human survival, if they don't exist, neither will we.

Gabby Wimes
(Online source used to read the chapter, no page number provided)

Peyton D. said...

Before reading this story, I had no idea the extent of damage that the 2010 BP oil spill caused. To this day, nearly 3000 square miles of the ocean floor is covered in 2 inches of degraded oil. Even the organisms that are capable of eating the oil have stopped eating and are disappearing. If humans explore the ocean in a thousand years the oil will still remain (109). Some sea life has returned to the area but it was nowhere near the level prior to the spill. The sea life from the gulf coast is not safe to eat and those who consume it are at risk for developmental disorders and cancer. Humans that live on the coast are at great risk for health problems for decades to come (111).

Asher said...

I've been very critical of how our country has been using deep-sea explorations and how dangerous it could be, especially if there is a massive spill, for our ocean animals. I think what really stood out to me in the reading was when Antonia talked to Joye who said that there was a significant decline in a range of species that live in the seafloor of the Gulf (pg 110) That makes me very upset and sad knowing that human beings are causing ocean life to dwindle. These certain species are important to the animals that eat them and without that food source, more animals may start to dwindle or even worse, go extinct.

- Asher Denkyirah

Zaria Whitlock said...

I found it interesting that one of the most interesting points I found within the short story was inside parentheses. It may still be in the short story but when an author writes something in parentheses it usually indicates that the information within the parentheses further explains something that most people would understanding leading some to skim over the parentheses and not read the information within the parentheses. Juhasz addresses the effects the contaminated oil may have on humans, "Researchers have also found that crude oil contamination can lead to cancer, birth defects, and developmental and neurological disorders such as dementia, though none of these are covered by the settlement" (Juhasz p. 111). It was not only interesting that it seemed as though the author found these details less important but also the fact that the settlement did not cover the potential damages that could be caused to humans. It demonstrates that oil companies do not consider the effects of their mistake to be something they should take responsibility for preventing or helping with medical bills.
Zaria W.

Aliyah Johnson said...

The quote i found interesting was the one about the drop in oysters harvested in the u.s. due to the BP spill. "Before the oil spill, more than 60 percent of all oysters harvested in U.S. waters were caught in the Gulf. Today that share has dropped to about 40 percent(Juhasz p.103)". This is a large percentage and is very astonishing because BP affected man businesses and trades, not just the ocean, due to the spill.
--Aliyah Johnson

Aleeya Barrolle said...

After reading the "Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea" by Antonia Juhasz the destruction of sea organisms that was important is that generations of sea organisms were affected in some way. " one study demonstrated that the spill was followed by immediate declines in the larval production of tuna, blue marlin, mahi-mahi, and sailfish" (110). This is important because with a decline in larvae there will be less of these types of fish out in the sea to living.

-Aleeya B.

Brandy Collier said...

The part of the article that i found interesting was when the author spoke about the different effects that the oil spill had on parts of the ecosystem specifically the dolphins. On page 110, the author states, "In 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average". This interested me because I did not know that the oil spill caused these tragic things to happen to marine life. While reading I realized that the oil effected a lot of the smaller organisms which effect the other organisms that eat them which effects the entire food chain. So for Dolphins being a main predator that is also effected really stuck out to me and showed me that the oil spill damaged a lot of the marine ecosystem in the gulf.

-Brandy Collier

Mike Dade said...

I thought I understood the magnitude of the oil-spill when it first happened in 2010, but reading this story showed me that I didn't. On page 109, Antonia says "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever." (109) This stood out to me most because it made me fear for the future of our ecosystems. If one accident was able to cause this much destruction, what else could happen? Although I believe the spill may have made us more cautious; I know it won't stop risky operations like extracting oil in the ocean. All it takes is one mistake for something to go wrong, and that's what scares me.

-Mike Dade

Jasmin Smoot said...

It’s almost unbelievable to think that this happened almost 8 years ago and still sad to this day. I can remember Dawn, the soap, had commercials advertising how their soap could clean the oil from the affected animals. On page 105, first paragraph the narrator stated that in one particular area, the spill either cleared out any living being or killed it. It’s crazy that the negligence of a company could do this.

J'kolbe Kelly said...

What i found most interesting is on page 109. He says "Today a coating od degraded oil,as much as two inches thick extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of the ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever." I never had the damage put to scale like that before and to think it is almost impossible reverse means bad things for our environment

Aja J. said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that I found very important was how major the impact was on the availability of oxygen, which is vital to all living things. “On a test dive a few weeks before we set sail, the oxygen scrubber, which removes carbon dioxide from the air, had failed, requiring Alvin’s passengers to put on oxygen mask during their rapid return to the surface,” (105). The extent to how much damage the oil spill actually caused is very evident in this information. It’s sad to believe that organisms that are vital to our well being have been affected and it just makes me wonder what the future will hold if these organisms are completely wiped out.

Donovan Washington said...

Before reading this I knew about the BP oil spill but I did not know the extent to which the oil devastated the many organisms in the sea. One quote that stood out to me is when Juhasz speaks on Joe Montoya's research on phytoplankton, "clear evidence that oil and gas carbon are moving through the food web. Ultimately, these contaminants, in potentially harmful concentrations, could reach 'things like big fish that people are commercially interested in'" (110). This stood out to me because it made me realize that even though humans don't live in the ocean, humans can still be impacted on the oil spill especially if we eat a seafood based diet.

Donovan Washington

Olivia Slater said...

"60 percent of all oysters harvested in the U.S.waters were caught int the Gulf" (Juhasz, 103); this portion of the passage caught my attention because of its relevance to my classes. In biology classes, dissection of organisms such as oysters are commonly conducted in lab courses. This week in lab, oysters were dissected. However, the dissection was finished early because all of the organisms were mutated. Although these organisms were likely harvested in a lab/ aquatic farm, the larger problem is connected to this passage. Things such as oil spills are likely part of the reason that these oysters must be harvested in aquatic farms in the first place. Human interference - such as oil spills - are devastating aquatic life and scientific research regarding these organisms.
This book has been the most beneficial of all of the "Haley Reading Group" materials provided to me over the last 3 years.

jasmine williams said...

I was especially surprised to learn about the impact that human life has on the ocean. Page 109 says, “If humans explore the ocean in a thousand years the oil will still remain.” Obviously, the BP oil spill was a huge deal, but I never realized that it would cause destruction for thousands of years to come.

Jasmine Williama

Kyla T. said...

I remember hearing about the BP spill when I was younger, but I had forgotten how much damage it caused to the ocean. One point I found important about the destruction of sea organisms was that it's very much permanent - "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever (109)." The spill has completely damaged the ocean and its inhabitants, and it's so sad to think about.

-Kyla T.

Deborrah B. said...

On page 110, Juhasz talks about how the larval production of tuna, blue marlin, mahi-mahi, and sailfish had significant declines after the oil spill in 2010. Also "in 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average." When this oil spill happened not that long ago, I believed that hopefully people will take a more serious look at how dangerous oceanic oil rigs can big. However, on page 113 Juhasz states that the number of oil rigs operating in the Gulf has increased from 29 in 2011 to 51 in 2014, and the number has probably grown in the few years since then. It's very disheartening how people can so easily put the health and safety of people and animals in this area, and other places with where drilling occurs, at risk just to make some money.
-Deborrah B.

Brianna Reed said...

Something that struck me when I read it as stated on page 109 was "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever". To think that decades into the future will pass and ecologists and scientists will be able to look back and still see the damage done so long ago is beyond startling. To think that there is still drilling and pumping going on and that there is only a matter of time before another potential disaster could come about. I had never really thought about how much the ecology and organisms in the ocean support our daily life and effect human beings in general. From a food source to the air we breathe, I can't imagine how we could recover if future spills were to occur.

Kenisha Townsend said...

I found it very alarming how the oil spill affected over 100,000 Gulf animals by May 2011 (p.104). Even more alarming was the fact years later, although the animals are no longer consuming the oil at the bottom of the ocean, they have oil residue on their surface. Therefore, when other animals eat them, they will have the contaminant inside of them as well which may cause serious problems (p.110) This can eventually travel to the big fish that humans consume thus affecting us. While the BP oil spill is several years old, it doesn't mean that we can't still be affected by it today. The effects from the disaster have spread. If humans consume seafood, they have no idea if it was infected with the oil contaminant. This can cause issues such as birth defects, neurological disorders, and dementia.

Naomi Olsson said...

The BP oil spill was a very devastating event! Many people have heard about this occurrence but most do not know the full extent the event. Most people remember this event because they were angered by the high gas prices after the spill. However, most don't stop to think about the effects that it has on the environment. "by May BP's oil had sickened or killed more than 100000 Gulf animals: 28500 sea turtles, 82000 birds and more than 26000 marine mammal". Upon reading this I was astonished!. I knew that many animals had beef effected by the spill, but i never realized just how much. I think people should be aware of just how many animals were effected and how this has effected the ecosystem.

Jordan R. said...

What caught my attention was "The increase in sea life that we had observed on 'Alvin' could signal the start of an ecological recovery... [but] being exposed to the oil on the seafloor, which they would pass along to the creatures that ate them" (110). In this quote it seems like there is no perfect way to detect when the animal life in the ocean are completely free of contaminates. Also, even with little contamination, it can be passed from creature to creature through consumption.

Crystal Rice said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms in the passage that was concerning to me was when Juhasz was on the ocean with two oceanographers and one of them, Joye, explained, after Juhasz had finally seen some living organisms such as small white fish and sea cucumbers, her thought about how many more there used to be. She said, " These gave her hope. But she told me before the oil spill, we would have expected to see many more of these and other creatures: fish, urchins, sea fans, and perhaps even whales and sharks," (108). And then once they had taken samples from he ocean, Joye said, "The sediment samples we'd gathered were, it turned out, virtually identical... it hasn't changed," (109). This is very concerning because for the sediment to still be the same from four years ago to now since the BP spill, that means that not much had been don't to decrease the amount remaining in the ocean which can cause even more harm overtime to the environment and also to the organisms living in that area. There has already been a huge decline in the number of living organisms in the ocean from the spill and to just leave it the same, there will be no type of progression in the population of organisms.

Crystal R.

Trevon Bosley said...

I was shocked by the true amount oil that was left in the ocean. This effect expressed on page 102 where it says ,"that 30 million gallons of oil from the BP spill remain in the gulf the equivalent of nearly three exon valdez spills."The effects of this much oil must be catastrophic. This must have had a terrible effect on the ocean wildlife.

Xavier J said...

The BP Oil spill was one of the most devastating man-made disasters in human history. Page 104 talks about the sheer impact the oil spill had on the gulf's ecosystem by citing the number of animals that actually died due to this event. I think it is important to consider the fact that overall devastation was preventable, but BP did not have procedures in place to actually decrease that impact. Page 104 talks about how none of the major oil companies in that area were prepared for an event like the 2010 BP oil spill and I found that very neglectful. Overall, I think that accidents happen, but if you are aware of potential mistakes you should take precautions to minimize those negative consequences if that mistake were to happen and BP did not do that.

Xavier Jefferson

Paris Smith said...

One of the things that I found interesting was on page 110 when the author states, "In 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average". I knew that the BP oil spill was a major crisis and that it still poses issues even until this day. A lot of marine life including animals and other natural organisms still cannot grow in that water and it's going to be decades until that oil spill is cleaned up for new life to begin to even grow and survive down there. But it is up to us to try and not let that happen again somewhere else because if it keeps happening and we keep destroying our planet, sooner or later, animals won't be the only thing that will not survive.

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

On page 104, Juhasz states that "By May 2011 BP's oil had sickened more than 100,000 Gulf animals: 28,500 sea turtles, 82,000 birds, and more than 26,000 marine animals, including several sperm whales". He goes on to say that there were too many fish, crustaceans, insects, and plants that washed up onshore to count. Humans have such a selfish concern for their needs of the newest technology or vehicles that we will do whatever is takes too get what we need and unfortunately a lot of us have this huge lack of concern for animals and plant life. What we have to realize is that we need them to survive. We may not how exactly their existence impacts and helps our daily lives but they do and we need to be considerate of that.

Mikaela S said...

After reading Juhasz’s article, one point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that viewed as especially important to consider can be found on page 104. In this passage, the author states that "By May 2011 BP's oil had sickened or killed more than 100,000 Gulf animals: 28,500 sea turtles, 82,00 birds, and more than 26,000 marine mammals, including several sperm whales". It is truly amazing that this amount of sea organisms were destructed because of BP.

Nia Piggott said...

A point that was concerning/stood out to me about the destruction of seas organisms was on page 109 "The sediment samples we'd gathered were, it turned out, virtually identical to the ones collected in 2010 to the layer of oil residue collected in 2010. The layer of oil residue deposited four years earlier was still there." This point stood out to me because it furthered the idea of how much of a long-lasting impact the oil spill had on the animals and water. I enjoyed reading this text because it gave me more knowledge on this topic and showed me how important this issue was.

Tatyana Curtis said...

"Researchers have also found that crude oil contamination can lead to cancer, birth defects, and developmental and neurological disorders such as dementia, though none of these are covered by the settlement" (Juhasz p. 111). This stood out to me because I was shocked to see how harmful crude oil contamination can be to an individual. To many it seems as if companies should obviously take better percaustion when it comes to the crude oil knowing what could possibly happen.

Jeremiah T said...

"A 1984 Alvin dive revealed abundant populations thriving in the deepest parts of the Gulf" (104).That quote was important to me because on page 105, Dr. Samantha Joye said that she saw nothing living on the bottom of the ocean when she last went. After reading this, I immediately thought about all of the unknown species that could now be extinct without our knowledge.

Jeremiah Terrell

Jeremiah T said...

"A 1984 Alvin dive revealed abundant populations thriving in the deepest parts of the Gulf" (104).That quote was important to me because on page 105, Dr. Samantha Joye said that she saw nothing living on the bottom of the ocean when she last went. After reading this, I immediately thought about all of the unknown species that could now be extinct without our knowledge.

Jeremiah Terrell

Andre Valentine said...

The point I found the most interesting was on page 109 when Juhasz said " Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends 3000 square miles of ocean floor." That is just mind blowing, and the effect that will have on sea life will be huge. It will cause terrible living conditions for any marine life in the area. It also said that the oil may stay there forever. That means this mistake could harm life for the rest of Earth's existence.

Andre Valentine

Jazsmine Towner said...

"When the Macondo well blew, none of the oil companies operating in the deep watrers of the Gulf were prepared, even though the largest among them ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP had claimed to the Department of Interior that they could handle far worse deepwater blowout" stood out to me the most because this crisis could have been easily resolved if the gas and oil companies were equippd to handle the situation. This incident shows that many billion dollar companies are not prepared in a crisis to sustain the environment which is especially concerning being that these companies control the oil around the world. I found it frightening that not even the multi-billion dollar companies were equipped to deal with this problem that could've been avoided.
-Jazsmine Towner

Nyla Gantt said...

I remember the BP oil spill. I remember seeing all of the commercials. The dawn commercials, washing the ducks with the soap, using such a devastating tragedy to get people to buy their product. I find it heartbreaking how still to this day there is oil in the water that will never leave. "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever" (109).

- Nyla G.

Kaelyn Blunt said...

While reading this, it occurred to me that I did not realize how bad the impact of this oil spill was. Of course I knew about the disastrous effects, but I did not know about the specific details. When it said "In 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average"(110) I realized that the media portrayed mostly about how apologetic BP was rather than how horrid the results of the spill was/is. This has just sparked my curiosity to what else is hidden behind this spill.
Kaelyn Blunt

Kathryn Hatches said...

I still get really upset whenever I think about the BP oil spill. The author states, "in 2011, dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average (Juhasz, 110). The detrimental role that humans have played in the destruction of nature absolutely disgusts me. It's even worse that this oil spill that happened 6 years ago is still damaging the ecosystem of marine life.
-Kathryn Hatches

Kathryn Hatches said...

I still get really upset whenever I think about the BP oil spill. The author states, "in 2011, dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average (Juhasz, 110). The detrimental role that humans have played in the destruction of nature absolutely disgusts me. It's even worse that this oil spill that happened 6 years ago is still damaging the ecosystem of marine life.
-Kathryn Hatches

Joshua Jones said...

I think that the irony of the Corexit, the chemical supposedly used to keep oil from the shore, inhibited the lives of the microbes even more than the oil itself, since "nearly two million gallons of the dispersant were used," on page 109-110. The dispersant specially affected the Meiofauna and macrofauana for about 10 miles of seafloor. Personally, I had no idea that any of this had happened. It was truly a shocker.

Joshua J.

Brandon Nichols said...

"On the previous day's dive, Joye and Joseph Montoya, a biological oceanographer at Georgia Tech, had been disturbed by their observation of dead and damaged coral-healthy coral provides habitat for thousands of species; dead coral is home to nothing." (108)

This concerns me the most because I know that this is a worldwide problem. Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on the planet, and it is slowly dying due to us humans. It is sad that we are taking the homes away from countless living things.

Brandon N.

JaLeah M . said...

The point in this section that read, "Researchers have also found that crude oil contamination can lead to cancer, birth defects, and developmental and neurological disorders such as dementia, though none of these are covered by the settlement" (111) stood out the most to me. I always find it bizarre when I read about things such as this that prior to I was partially or fully unaware of. This oil crisis and the danger that follows doesn't seem to be heavily spoken of through media outlets. I think it's important for more people to be knowledgeable of these dangers as with things such as these will take much larger efforts to repair/restore if possible.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me the most is the sheer efficiency the oil spill had in killing. The numbers on page 104 were enough. However those numbers don't even represent all the animals that have since and continue to be plagued by one company's negligence. Those numbers also don't even represent the continuous screwing over of the ocean that the rest of humanity influences. It's more disturbing because I see how easy it is to value our own egos/desires over the lives innocent beings.

-Que'rra Mason

WickedSwami215 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Robinson said...

The most concerning point to me was on page 110 where they stated that, "In 2011, dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average." This is alarming to me because after the spill, 6 dolphins were found dead after the spill to every one found dead before the spill. That is a huge number of dolphins dead due to one error made by humans.

Breanna B. said...

"Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever (Pg. 109)." This is extremely devastating to oceanic organisms. Their suffering will extend beyond the waters, affecting land organisms. Phytoplankton are responsible for 70 percent of Earth's oxygen production. If we continue to destroy our ocean ecosystems, we will all fall victim to our own mistakes.

Maya Searcy said...

On page 109 when it said "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever." This stuck out to me because it shows the permanency of the situation. I thought that when there was a oil spill that it all got cleaned up eventually, but this shows that that is not the case. It was horrible that the oceans will never be same because of a mistake that people made.

YaQkeha Witherspoon said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that viewed as especially important to me was after the spill in 2010, after we have saw the effects the spill has had, companies still want to drill in that same spot! Page 112 discusses how part of the leasing block that contains the wreckage of the oil spill was split and sold and those companies still want to drill in the block for more oil, despite all of the devastating consequences and potential danger for a recurrence. I think that this says a lot about how we prioritize money over everything including human health and animal health. We should be figuring out how to stop ocean oil drilling, not continuing it.

Anonymous said...

The most concerning point to me was, "The increase in sea life that we had observed on Alvincould signal the start of an ecological recovery, Montagna said. But those returning species were now being exposed to the oil on the seafloor, which they would pass along to the creatures that ate them." (p. 110) To me, this is important because it shows that it was so bad that even while something seemingly good is going on, there are still negative consequences to overshadow the good.
- Marcus Underwood

John Kriha said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that was viewed as especially important to me was the ripple effect of the oil spill on the animals. The quote on Page 110 "perhaps more troubling was the effect on dolphins, which are predators at the top of the food chain and therefore indicators of the ecosystem's degrading. In 2011 dolphins were still born or died at infancy in rates 6 times higher...number of dolphins found dead on the Louisiana coast was 4 times higher..." shows how the oil spill even effects animals that were not directly effected by the spill. Also the quote "traces of oil....have been found in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, in the eggs of white pelicans that were in the Gulf at the time of the spill" shows how the effects of the disaster have traveled to places hundreds of miles away.

Sierra Taylor said...

The ending of the story really bothered me. The text said, "Sitting on the deck behind the shop, I admired the beauty of the empty water, now unblemished by human activity. But I looked out to sea knowing, better than ever, what lay below the placid surface." It saddens me how aquatic animals are being affected by people's actions. Their habitats should be protected, and humans should make it a priority to keep them safe rather than harm them.

Natasha said...

One comment especially concerning to me was toward the beginning of the article on page 102. It says, "Without a healthy ocean, we'll all be did." Furthermore, before that quote the article explained how even organisms as small as perhaps plankton can be devastating because whatever eats plankton will also be sick and that chain of succession won't stop until it gets to the great, huge whales of the ocean. The fact that this oil method cannot be done risk free is also alarming. The article brings light to our future and how it is going to be if we don't start better protecting our environment and ecosystems today.

Robert Craig Jr said...

A statement that alarms me is found on page 110. "In 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average" (110). The amount of damage humans are doing to the oceans is alarming and disgusting.

Marcus Barnes said...

I remember hearing about the news about the BP oil spill and how it was very devastating and destroyed much of the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, but I didn’t realize that it still is causing problems for marine life and that it might forever. The passage points out that, “today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever (109),” which is insane. It’s hard to imagine how that one oil spill will effect marine life in the Gulf forever. This definitely shows the real devastation the incident caused and the horrible long-term effects it will leave on the area.

- Marcus B.

Fiona Hill said...

I found it the most interesting how many animals were effected by the oil spill (pg 104 gave some statistics). This was the most alarming because it shows how many animals are affected about carelessness and by our actions. Additionally, there's many sea animals that have no yet been discovered so who no one knows the real impact of the oil spill. Especially being that there is a surplus of life in the dead ocean, on the ocean floor- these organisms are now deceased or still covered with oil.

Sydney Oats said...

"In 2011 dolphins were stillborn or died in infancy at rates six times the historical average" (110). This passage was devastating. I learned that the oil spill created much more chaos then I thought. It effected marine life and their habitat so much that the evidence will still be visible thousands of years from now. Unfortunately it will not only affect the marine life, but I'm sure we have been affected by it as well.

Anonymous said...

The rapid decline of meiofauna and macrofauna is something that really alarmed me. Since these small marine animals are a critical food source for larger organisms. Those larger organisms are criticsal foods for billions of people. This fact should be considered heavily when looking at the severity of the Gulf oil spill. The deaths of these smaller organisms could be catastrophic to people everywhere. (110)
--Shelby W.

Anonymous said...

One thing that disturbed me was on page 109. The author talks about how two inch thick degraded oil is spread almost 3,000 miles on the ocean floor and is expected to be there forever. It's disgusting how we humans are simply destroying planet earth and don't seem to have any remorse for our actions. They go on to talk about how sea life is starting to increase in the area again, but due to the left over oil, the new sea life is being contaminated.

Sydney J.

Tiera Williams said...

One of the things I found especially important to consider was the amount of oil still present in the gulf and all of the life that lives there and no longer does because of the BP spill and everything it puts at risk. On page 102, "Dr.Samantha Joy...estimated that 30 million gallons of oil from the BP spill remain in the gulf." The text also mentions how any harm done to the deep sea impacts the entire ecosystem. She also mentions on page 102, "If you short circuit the bottom, you threaten the entire cycle. Without a healthy ocean we'll all be dead." The foundation for everything is important, but what could be more important than sustaining human life itself. We need our natural resources in order for the world to go round. I wish we considered how our decisions now could impact others far down the line.

Tiera W.

Bianca w said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms was that the food web for sea animals would be bad.On page 110 it says that, "A die-off of any link in the food web threatens the species that depend on it, but can also affect those further down." On the same page it gives an example of how Phytoplankton rely on sea floor tube worms to decompose organic matter and release nutrients back into the water.Because of the oil spill there are very little of these tube worms. The phytoplankton could die off because of this. This is bad because phytoplankton are a key part of the ocean
ecosystem.

Bianca W.

Anonymous said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that I saw as being important to consider was the section of the chapter regarding the phytoplankton. According to the book, phytoplankton produce about half of the planet's oxygen. THE PLANET. This speaks to the interdependent and cyclical pattern of how living things works and it should move us to be careful about the decisions we make. --Sandra Y.

Shardai J-H said...

I did not know that the oil spill had caused so much damage. The author mentions on page 109, "Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square miles of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever." If this is expected to happen scientist should look for ways to remove the oil without causing more damage.

Anonymous said...

I could have never imagined how much the BP oil spill would impact the ocean. Before reading this short essay, I never understood the magnitude of destruction and how it would affect the ocean for years to come. One of the most mind boggling things that I learned was that, " Today a coating of degraded oil, as much as two inches thick, extends across nearly 3,000 square mules of ocean floor. It is expected to remain there forever" (106). This in itself shows just how much more careful we need to be in regards to the ocean. There needs to be better preventive measure taken in order to prevent this from happening again. I know that there have been small situations like this that have happened as well. As result of these actions, the surrounding ocean life is affected and death rates rise for the sea creatures in those areas. We need to do better to protect the ocean and maybe even put more money and effort into removing oil spills. --Kytela M.

Jazmyn Maggitt said...

The sentence that states, “The effects of BP’s disaster have now spread far from the Gulf. Traces of oil and Corexit, for instance, have been found in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, in the eggs of white pelicans that were in the Gulf at the time of the spill” (110). This was so showing to me because of the fact that they said Illinois and also because of how far we are from the Gulf. Illinois is a landlocked state but yet because of migration patterns we are seeing the effects of this oil spill. This then gets me thinking about how we have effected the whole world. The Gulf maybe be closest to us and Mexico but so many animals probably pass through and they could also be effected and then take that back to their county of origin.

Kelsey W said...

It is so alarming that no one is still talking about this when so many parts are being affected. The little phytoplankton are being affected because of the lack of micro and macrofauna and most would not care about this issue unless they knew that this is snowballing to affecting bigger oceanic systems as well. The dolphins are being affected at a high rate which is shocking since they are towards the top of the food chain. In turn humans are being affected as well, but most people wouldn't be aware unless they were living on the coast and ingested a high seafood diet. This is something that was talked about a lot when it happened but then people assumed the worst is over but even the researchers aren't sure what the worst will be (p. 110).

De'Abrion Joyner said...

The most alarming thing I read in this article was on page 102. A BP spokesman said that the spill had very little impact on the sea floor, which was probably told to the world. But the biochemist said that among organisms at risk were phytoplankton. Which they say produces about half the oxygen for the planet. This is a big deal and a BP spokesman would lie about it to the whole world. Without oxygen we will die so this shouldn't be taken likely by anyone involved.

De'Abrion Joyner

Victoria Wright said...

One point concerning the destruction of sea organisms that was especially important for me to consider was the fact "Without an healthy ocean, we'll all be dead" (p. 102). I did not know that the ocean had such a huge impact on us and the dry land. It is amazing to think that the sea organisms in the ocean provide half of the planet's oxygen. I now see how serious the BP oil spill was for everyone in the world.