Monday, June 28, 2010

Complexity of Cleaning Oil

This layer of oil uncovered by USF geologists illustrates the complexity of cleaning oil off our beaches. The dynamic movement of sand on beaches has covered the oil with a 6-8 inch layer of sand. If the clean up crews only look at the surface of the beach when cleaning the oil how much will they miss? What is the ecological impact to the important animals that use the beach? How will this effect nesting sea turtles? And how long before this layer gets exposed again?

As we learned from the lasting ecological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one thing is certain. We will be addressing these impacts for decades to come.

Click here for more photo's from the St. Petersburg Times


punk rock michelle said...

I hope they do a good job getting this thing cleaned up. The entire thing just sickens me!

Chad Nelsen said...

I am afraid it's going to take many, many years to clean this up and it will probably never be fully cleaned. The beaches are the easy part and this photo illustrates just how hard they will be to clean. It's impossible to clean the wetlands due to their complexity and fragile structure. Even worse, the dispersants have allowed the oil to spread throughout the water column and that oil will never be recovered.

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