Diver awareness: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is one of the worst man-made-disasters this year

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is one of the worst man-made-disasters this year

On April 10, 2010, a wellhead exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. People died, others were hurt, damage was done, and twelve days later, oil began to gush out from the broken wellhead. Two months later, oil continues to spill at an estimated 6,000,000 gallons per day. The oil has spread wide enough that NASA can get a visual of it in space.

Extreme efforts have been taken into account to put an end to this disaster. The British Petroleum, the company that was held responsible for the explosion, is leading the current attempts to contain the dispersing oil. Actions involving burning of the oil or applying oil-dispersing chemicals has been of assistance, but it’s not productive enough to counteract 6 million gallons of oil flowing out on a daily basis.

As of early June, thousands of animals within or near the contaminated areas have been found dead. This includes sea turtles, dolphins, many species of birds, and even more species of sea creatures. Environmental experts are saying that the oil spill hit at the worst possible time of the year since there are many animals that are currently breeding and nesting, and that their young can contract fatal diseases if born near the oily waters.

I know lots of people who have no idea of how serious this catastrophe really is. And that’s probably because they are not experiencing the consequences that it has caused. Humans live on land. The oil spill is happening in the oceans. For scuba divers, who spend a considerable amount of time in the oceans, this isn’t really much of a problem at all. Choose an oil-free dive spot, and chances are, things will go smoothly. Scuba divers in the Philippines and Palau aren’t even aware of the problem. But in my opinion, that is a selfish way of thinking.

The oil spill even affected birds

The oil spill even affected birds

I’m sure that there are many divers out there who really care about the oceans, who really feel the gravity of the situation. I am certain that, to some, diving is not just for fun, it is a ritual of the continuity of life. I am certain that, to some, the ocean is not just a diving destination, it is a second home. And if there are land-dwelling people out there who feels pain in a disaster far from land, then how much more does the ocean-dwelling creatures feel the pain in a disaster that’s directly affecting them?

Remember that, to the sea creatures, roaming the seas is not just a daily ritual, but a necessity for the continuity of life. Remember that, to the sea creatures, the ocean is not just a second home, it is their home. The Gulf of Mexico is labeled as an environmental disaster, which means that it is a disaster that is caused by human activity. Though we take part in suffering from this through the damage done to the fishing industry, why should the ocean take the full toll for a mistake they had nothing to do with?

The oceans have recovered from much worse oil spills, and if the plans of containment are improved and consistent, I’m sure that it will recover from this one, too. When that time comes, I hope that scuba divers all over will have a better awareness, a better understanding, and a better appreciation to what trillions of fish call “home.”

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