—Find out how you’ll feel the pain of the Deep water Horizon disaster
Though the oil has been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico for more than a month, the consequences of this larger than ever environmental disaster have yet to be fully examined and determined.
That said, scientists and researchers are starting to put together some of the puzzle pieces, and the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are likely to be big – and you’ll likely feel the pain.
1. Fewer Choices On The Store Shelves
The Gulf of Mexico is a huge shipping lane through which products of all shapes and sizes come into North America. From Toys to clothes to cars to building materials, you may find that the selection at your local store begins to shrink as shipping lanes slow down as a result of the oil spill.
(Photo by mikebaird )
Though the lanes are unlikely to come to a complete halt, as oil coats the hulls of ships, it may delay the ships and slow commerce and trade.
2. No More Evening Walks Along The Beach
Whether you’re taking a vacation in Texas or hoping to walk along the New Orleans shore, you may be in for disappointment.
( Photo by ingridtaylar )
Many beaches are now closing as clean-up efforts frantically work on removing oil slick from the sands. But the impact may be felt for quite some time as oil continues to wash up on shore.
3. Diminished Wildlife Populations
It should come as no surprise that many wildlife will be impacted by the oil spill. Oiled birds, otter, bald eagles, pelicans, turtles, fish, and dolphins are already washing up on shore, making the beach sights less than palatable for someone looking to see some pristine nature.
( Photo by marinephotobank )
At this point, scientists believe that there will be at least 400 species negatively impacted by the spill, though there’s no way yet to know how big the problem will be.
4. See The Devastation For Yourself
Not sure how far the oil spill will reach and whether it will end up in your backyard (perhaps it’s there already!)? Then you’ll want to check into the crowdsourced map iPhone app that is tracking the movement of the spill.
Citizen reporters allow real-time reports of job losses, wildlife deaths, and more as people submit their emails, text messages, Tweets, photos, and more.
5. Unsafe Clams
Over time, molluscs like clams incorporate calcium into their shells throughout their lifetimes. But the heavy metals like nickel and vanadium from the petroleum industry and the resulting oil spill may be incorporated into the shells of these creatures.
( Photo by oropeza )
As other wildlife consumes these clams, they incorporate the toxins into their bodies, and on it goes as the heavy metals bio-accumulate in the food chain. This could have serious, long-term consequences for human health.
6. Tainted Oyster Bars
Many appreciate a delicious oyster meal, and why not? They’re extremely healthy with loads of protein, vitamin D, omega fatty acids, and iron. But oyster reefs worldwide have already been depleted by 85% because of environmental degradation.
( Photo by jetalone )
They’ve been working on restoring the populations of oysters by reseeding certain reefs to boost their numbers.
The Golf of Mexico has been home working on some of these projects, but with the massive oil spilling into that environment, the oysters could soon become tainted with chemicals, making them unsafe to eat.
7. Problems For Shrimp Feasts
The Gulf of Mexico is also a nursery for species like shrimp that grow up in the estuaries. The oil that is taking over this natural environment will choke out the plants that make the estuaries so nutritious to shrimp.
( Photo by cote )
The experts aren’t yet decided on how many shrimp will die as a result of this major ecological disaster.
8. Hurricane May Ruin Your Jazz Trip – New Orleans Could Be Flooded With Oil
According to the National Weather Service, a hurricane like Hurricane Katrina could have devastating impact on New Orleans. Researchers expect 15 named storms to develop into 8 hurricanes, and with a well-placed hurricane, the oil could be pushed onto New Orleans shores, further impacting the already devastated region.
( Photo by Markusram )