On April 20th, 2010, an explosion on the oilrig Deepwater Horizon caused the rig to sink and the oil to start spewing into the sea, (hope you didn’t own stock in BP).Depending on who you ask, the amount of crude oil being deposited into the Gulf is anywhere from 5,000 – 25,000 barrels per day.That is 210,000 – 1,100,000 US gallons.That is a lot of oil.If you remember back to your 4th grade science lessons, oil and water don’t mix.Not only do oil and water not mix but oil also doesn’t mix with the animals in and around the water, people who play in the water, and those who make a living catching animals that live in the water.
So how is the spill affecting those who live near the Gulf?
As the slick moves closer and closer to shore, beaches inevitably will be shut down.For surfers, when beaches are shut down, that means you can’t sleep at night because you have too much energy built up that you couldn’t get rid of while surfing.But even more unfortunate than not being able to surf for a couple weeks, is that as surfers, we love Mother Ocean.She provides us with waves that allow us to do the thing we hold so passionately to, surf.By the time the whole fiasco is contained, there will be 1,000,000+ gallons of crude oil floating around, destroying our lovely Mother Ocean.This is not good.Surfing Southern California after a rainstorm will seem delightful compared to surfing the oil-slicked waves of the Gulf.As surfers, we will need to do as much as we can to help in the efforts of cleaning the beaches we freely use and saving the wildlife that truly call the Gulf home.
Local businesses are already being affected by the oil slick.Those who fish the seas of the Gulf for fish, crabs, shrimp, oysters, etc. aren’t being allowed to go out and earn a living.Not only are they banned from fishing, but instead have been asked to help by setting out booms and other things to help contain the contamination.
An oil slick in the ocean probably has the largest impact on the marine life.Animals are defenseless as thick; crude oil invades their surroundings.Reefs become smothered, birds and fish become covered in oil not allowing them to fly or breathe and the ecosystem in general suffers.Unfortunately, the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico are going to heavily feel the impact of the oil spill.
What can we do as surfers to help?
A website, Deepwater Horizon Response, has been set up for those looking to stay up-to-date with news and volunteer information regarding the oil spill.They are looking for people who can lend a hand to help.If you have a boat, canoe, or just want to help out here is the list of hotline numbers you can call:
We welcome your questions or comments. Please note the following hotline numbers:
•If you are interested in volunteering, or know someone who is, please call the Deepwater Horizon Response Volunteer Request Line at 1-866-448-5816
•To report spill related damage claims, please call 1-800-440-0858
•To report oiled or injured wildlife, please call 1-866-557-1401
•To report oil on land, or for general Community and Volunteer Information, please call 1-866-448-5816
Call 281 366 5511 to submit all Deepwater Horizon Response suggestions.
As surfers it is important to step in and help.Your efforts won’t go unnoticed. We need to help protect and maintain the beauty of Mother Ocean.As we all come together and help clean and maintain the oil slick we will find greater appreciation for the ocean and the wildlife that live there.Lastly, the quicker the oil is cleaned up, the quicker we will be able to get back in the water and surf!
Thanks to Deepwater Horizon Response for organizing the efforts of those who want to help.