Many people are aware that marine oil spills are harmful to wildlife, but they are not actively thinking about it or taking action to prevent future spills. The Exxon Valdez oil spill is still affecting wildlife today, three decades after the incident in 1989, and not all species are fully recovered. Many are not recovered due to the process by which oil has affected them. Wildlife is immediately affected by oil from an oil spill with acute injuries that usually lead to mortality, but they are continually affected by their exposure in chronic injuries as well. Even new generations of wildlife are affected by their parents’ exposure and the lingering oil residue. This is a pressing matter and needs to be considered more often by Alaska communities.
There are many actions that can be taken that people need to be made aware of. Some ways people can help are donating, volunteering, and reducing oil usage. Organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, have opportunities to volunteer to help take restoration action and prepare further preventive measures.
If one does not have time to get involved with volunteering, donations always help these organizations move forward with restoration and research. Oil reduction is also another tactic that someone can use to help reduce spills. Car runoff adds up and one can opt to walk, bike, or carpool. Reduction of oil products, such as plastic, can help the marine wildlife in more than just oil reduction. There are many ways to help.
More consideration needs to be given to oil spill pollution.
— Allie Jarvis
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