As some of you may already kn0w, I have a degree in Marine Geography from Cardiff University. As hardly anyone knows for many years I have been planning to start my PhD on the “Communication of the Marine Environment in the Media” at Imperial College, London (if they’ll have me) – essentially as our oceans are so vast commonly an out of sight out of mind approach is taken towards marine based environmental hazards. Having worked on the site of many oil spills I know at first hand the devastation they cause to EVERYTHING. This is such an important issue to me which is why coverage like this is both upsetting and positive – BP can’t hide from this one.
In the three weeks since the April 20th explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and the start of the subsequent massive (and ongoing) oil leak, many attempts have been made to contain and control the scale of the environmental disaster. Oil dispersants are being sprayed, containment booms erected, protective barriers built, controlled burns undertaken, and devices are being lowered to the sea floor to try and cap the leaks, with little success to date. While tracking the volume of the continued flow of oil is difficult, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (possibly much more) continues to pour into the gulf every day. While visible damage to shorelines has been minimal to date as the oil has spread slowly, the scene remains, in the words of President Obama, a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”