That Is One Giant Oil Slick

The oil spill in the Gulf is so large it can be seen from space. And, it could wreak havoc on the coast.

That Is One Giant Oil Slick

The oil spill in the Gulf is so large it can be seen from space. And, it could wreak havoc on the coast.

-Faye Brennan

Oil Slick

When the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform exploded and sank on April 20 in the Gulf, every American must have said a collective “Oh no.”

Aside from the tragedy that 11 workers operating the boat are still missing, the oil that is leaking from the sunken ship is now threatening to do major damage to the Gulf Coast. Usually, you can’t see oil spills from space, but this one is so large, you can.

The oil slick is currently 48 miles long and 80 miles wide (about 3,840 square miles), and is about 20 miles off the coast, but is inching. If it reaches the shore, disaster will strike.

“It will wipe out the oyster industry. Shrimping wouldn’t recover for years. It would kill family tourism. That’s our livelihood,” says Louis Skrmetta of Ship Island Excursions in Mississippi. Not to mention what it will do to the surrounding birds and wildlife.

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Forecasters predict the oil spill could reach the coast within a matter of days. Crews have been feverishly working to try to control the spill, but they’ve had little success. If it can’t be done, almost 4.2 million gallons could be leaked into the Gulf.

Options right now include setting the slick on fire to burn off the oil, or drilling a hole in the sunken ship to release the pressure and stop the leak. But, drilling could take months and setting the oil aflame creates air pollution and can affect sea life.

One thing remains clear: crews need to act fast. “If we don’t secure this well, this could be one of the most significant oil spills in U.S. history,” said coastguard Rear Admiral Mary Landry. Eek! (Daily Mail)

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