The region’s fishermen are braced for the slick to hit Oyster and Shrimp stocks, while conservationists can only cross their fingers for the reserves that provide homes to local bird life including Brown Pelicans (the state bird of Louisiana), Egrets and various diving birds.
The timing couldn’t be worse – as thousands of birds fly through the area on their annual migrations, and under the water too, various transient marine creatures from Turtles to Tuna are also on a collision course with the crude oil that is now estimated to be filling the ocean at a rate of 5000 barrels per day.
The slick is being fed by a leak in the riser – the pipe that connected the rig to the well head, which is now snaking around at the bottom of the ocean more than 5000 feet deep. This, and the appearance of further leaks, is making the job of stopping the flow increasingly difficult.
Meanwhile on the surface, hundreds of thousands of feet of ‘booms’ – floating walls designed to contain the oil in a fixed area – have been deployed, however rough seas are making these less effective than they would usually be.
Following recent announcements of new exploratory drilling, in conjunction with clean energy adoption, most Americans were coming round to the idea that with recent safety records being good, that limited drilling could be done safely, reducing the peaks and troughs in supply while scientists fine tuned renewable energy sources – a win-win for everyone concerned.
Events off the coast of Venice, LA not only have the whole nation holding its breath, but have also caused the federal government to take a step back from the plans until the exact causes of this tragedy are established and lessons are learned.
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