Cosco Busan Oil Spill an It Influence on the Environment

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The Cosco Busan Oil Spill was a big oil spill that happened on November 7, 2007 (N/A, 2012). I will inform about the company that owned Cosco Busan, how the spill happened, the clean-up, how the wildlife was affected, and what changes have been made. The company that owned Cosco Busan is Regal Stone Limited and Fleet Management Limited (Baker, 2017). The company Regal Stone Limited and Fleet Management Limited paid a $44.4 million settlement for the damages to the environment (Baker, 2017). Of the $44.4 million settlement, $32.3 million went to funding for fish, bird, and habitat restoration projects (Baker, 2017).

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Cosco Busan was a 900-foot container ship and on November 7, 2007, it left Oakland in heavy fog with little to no visibility (N/A, 2012 Choski-Chugh, 2017). The container ship sideswiped a bay bridge tower and gashed two of the ship’s fuel tanks open (N/A, 2012, Baker, 2017, Choski-Chugh, 2017). Roughly 53,000 gallons of bunker oil (bunker oil is thicker than crude oil and is more slow-moving) was released in the waters (Baker, 2017, Choski-Chugh, 2017). The Cosco Busan oil spill was one of the largest in the history of the San Francisco Bay area (Baker, 2017). It was thought at first that only about 400 gallons of oil spilled but the bunker oil surged south on the tide (Choski-Chugh, 2017, N/A, 2012).

The agencies in charge of oil spill clean-ups were inadequate and they were incredibly disorganized (Choski-Chugh, 2017). Emergency responders also helped clean-up the oil ( Baker, 2017). The skimmer equipment that is used for removing oil from the surface of the water was deployed too late and most of the oil had already dispersed (N/A, 2012, Choski,2017). The damage to wildlife and fragile habitats was already done by the time the clean-up agencies had started using the skimmers and cleaning up (N/A, 2017). About two to three months after the spill the shoreline and nearshore had no evidence of oil (Baker,2017). The oil on the shore was no longer there it seemed whether it was cleaned-up, it dissipated or was hidden from view (Baker, 2017).

The environment was greatly affected more than 6,000 to 6,500 birds died (Choski-Chugh, 2017, N/A, 2012). The birds that were affected were Western Grebes and Surf Scoters (Choski-Chugh, 2017, N/A, 2012). When the oil got onto the bird’s feathers the oil makes the feathers so they are not waterproof anymore, so the birds preen their feathers to regain their waterproof feathers and they end up ingesting the oil (Choski-Chugh, 2017). Small creatures at the base of the Bay’s food chain were also hit hard (Choski-Chugh, 2017, N/A, 2012). 

The oil-soaked into the beaches by the Bay and the beaches were closed for longer than a month (Choski-Chugh, 2017, N/A, 2012). Months later Pacific Herring’s laid their eggs in or near the spill zone area almost all of the herring eggs found in the spill zone were dead or deformed while herring eggs outside of the spill zone were just fine (Choski-Chugh, 2017, Baker, 2017). The oil spill affected roughly a quarter of the herring spawning in 2008 (Baker, 2017).

The authorities who are in charge of clean-up have been better coordinated and have acted faster to clean the spill to save as much of the environment as they can when these spills occur (Choksi-Chugh, 2017). The impacts on the environment from the Cosco Busan oil spill could linger for decades (N/A, 2012). Lots have progress has been made in preventing and preparation for spills like Cosco Busan (N/A, 2012). The Cosco Busan oil spill has created a better understanding of how oil exposures cause deformities and other adverse effects in developing fish and other growing wildlife (Baker, 2017).

In conclusion, the Cosco Busan oil spill deeply affected the environment and it may never recover. The environment is incredibly important and we need to protect it from things like oil spills that kill wildlife and destroy habitats. The Cosco Busan oil spill has helped people prepare and prevent more oil spills. The Cosco Busan oil spill has taught us a lot and will always be a reminder of our mistakes and what not to do.  

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