Below, please find our Interview with Defenders of Wildlife on the Gulf Oil Spill. (Part 2)
1. What is the long-term impact to wildlife in that (the Gulf) area?
· We may not know the extent of the impacts for quite some time, so long-term environmental monitoring is critical. Tragically, the timing of the spill coincided with nesting seasons for several species of birds and sea turtles and spawning season for bluefin tuna . Many of these Gulf species were already listed as threatened or endangered on the federal endangered species list, and the harm from the oil and toxic dispersants could push them to the brink of extinction.
2. Can the spill ever truly be cleaned up? If so, how long will it take?
· The impacts on the Gulf environment are catastrophic and longlasting. One need only look at the fact that oil can still be found beneath the sand, rocks, and waters of Prince William Sound to know that we will be dealing with the consequences of this even larger spill for decades to come.
3. Can people volunteer in the Gulf through Defenders of Wildlife?
· To find out where you can provide hands-on help in the affected areas, visit The Gulf Oil Spill Response & Recovery website. (Note that at this time, the greatest need is for people with training and experience in dealing with hazardous materials.)
4. What can people do to keep a spill like this from happening again?
· While better oversight and more stringent environmental regulations will decrease the chances of an oil disaster such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion from happening in the future, the only way to truly prevent an oil spill from fouling our oceans and coasts is to make the shift from dirty and dangerous fossil fuels like oil and gas. Urge President Obama to reinstate the presidential ban on offshore oil drilling, and ask your senators to pass comprehensive legislation to promote the transition to a clean energy future.
To find out more about the Gulf Oil Spill and how you can help, please visit - Defenders of Wildlife