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1 In this presentation you will:
Identify the main sources of oil pollution. Investigate the damage that oil can cause to the environment and to wildlife. Identify methods of cleaning up oil pollution. ClassAct SRS enabled.

2 Oil is used in thousands of products that we use every day, including medicines, plastics, paints and fuels. However, its transport, use and disposal all pose potential problems to the environment and to wildlife. In this presentation you will look at the sources of oil pollution and how they can be treated and prevented. Next >

3 Sources of Oil Pollution
Offshore drilling (2.12%) Large oil spills (5.24%) Natural seepage (8.78%) Up in smoke (13.03%) Routine maintenance (19.4%) Down the drain (51.42%) Next >

4 Offshore Drilling and Oil Spills
Offshore oil production can cause ocean pollution, from spills and operational discharges. This accounts for about 2% of oil pollution or 15 million gallons per year. Only about 5% of oil pollution or 37 million gallons per year is actually due to tanker accidents. However, one big oil spill can disrupt sea and shore life for miles. Next >

5 Seepage and Burning Some ocean oil “pollution” is natural. Seepage from the ocean bed and eroding sedimentary rocks can slowly release oil. This accounts for about 9% of global oil pollution or 62 million gallons per year. Sedimentary layer Air pollution, mainly from cars and industry, places hundreds of tons of hydrocarbons (chemicals made up of carbon and hydrogen) into the oceans each year. This amounts to about 13% of global oil pollution or 92 million gallons per year. Next >

6 Routine Maintenance and Disposal
Every year, tanker cleaning and other ship operations release millions of gallons of oil into waters around shipping routes. Routine maintenance accounts for about 19% of global oil pollution or 137 million gallons per year. Used engine oil can end up in waterways. An average oil change can contaminate millions of gallons of fresh water. This amounts to about 51% of global oil pollution or 363 million gallons per year. Next >

7 Question 1 Large oil spills account for the largest proportion of annual global oil pollution. Answer True or False.

8 Damage to the Ecosystem
In water, oil forms a sticky oil and water mixture called Mousse. If the mousse is washed onto the shore, it will have a physical smothering effect on the shore life. If it sinks to the bottom sea-bed, it mixes with the sediments and turns into a thick, tar-like mass which can destroy the habitat of many bottom-dwelling organisms. These tar-like clumps can eventually end up on distant beaches. Next >

9 Untreated Oil If oil is deposited near a coastline, it can leak into fresh underground reservoirs that often extend under beaches, contaminating local wells. The most toxic components of the oil tend to evaporate, so large scale mortalities of marine life are relatively rare. However, the oil may affect the ability of individual organisms to feed, grow and reproduce. Some oil from any spill is degraded into simpler substances by either sunlight or bacteria. Natural degradation tends to occur more quickly in warmer waters. Next >

10 Question 2 Oil degradation can only take place through human intervention. Answer True or False.

11 Damage to Wildlife Oil pollution can harm populations of sea birds, sea otters, and killer whales as well as smaller organisms. Animals may die if their feathers or fur are covered in oil. An oil-covered bird will die when it tries to clean itself. If an animal is coated in oil, it can also suffer from hypothermia. Oil may also cause the death of an animal by entering the animal’s lungs or liver. Animals can also be blinded by oil. Next >

12 Sea Birds Thick black oil on a bird’s feathers will prevent it from flying. When the bird tries to clean itself, it will die from poisoning. Sea birds that are rescued from oil spills are taken into captivity to have their eyes, feathers and intestines cleaned. Before a bird can be released back into the wild, it has to pass a test to ensure that it can stay afloat and keep water away from its body. Next >

13 Sea Otters If an otter gets covered in oil, air bubbles that are located in its fur become blocked. These air bubbles help the otter to survive cold ocean temperatures and enable it to float. Otters coated in oil will not be able to swim and will die of hypothermia. Otters rescued from oil spills are taken into captivity for cleaning and are released once they can demonstrate their ability to survive in the wild. Next >

14 Killer Whales A killer whale may accidentally eat oil or the oil may enter its body though the blow hole. If the blow hole is plugged up with oil, the whale will not be able to breathe. Whales can also be poisoned by eating fish that have swum through the oil. Next >

15 Small Organisms Seaweed, clams, oysters, mussels, plankton, larval fish and bottom-dwelling organisms are all strongly affected by oil pollution. When these organisms, which are found at or near the bottom of the food chain, die, the whole food chain will be affected as a result. Next >

16 Question 3 Which of the following is not commonly experienced by marine animals as a result of oil pollution? A) Hypothermia B) Blindness C) Instant death D) Poisoning

17 Question 4 Why is it particularly damaging to ecosystems when small organisms are affected by oil pollution? A) There are lots of them B) Whole food chains can be affected C) They can die of hypothermia D) They can block the blow hole of a killer whale

18 Clean-up Methods Oil pollution can break up and disperse naturally in water where there is lots of movement, current, sunlight and natural micro-organisms. However, nature often requires assistance, particularly if shore lines or delicate habitats are likely to be endangered. Large areas of surface marine pollution, such as oil spills, can be cleaned up using a combination of techniques. The main stages are: Containment Recovery Break up Removal Next >

19 Containment Long, floating plastic or rubber barriers called booms are placed around the floating oil. These act as fences to contain the oil and prevent it from spreading or moving towards a shoreline. Next >

20 Recovery Once the oil has been contained, it can be removed by various types of skimmers. Vacuum skimmers work well in calm water and are used to suck oil out of the water into storage tanks In wavy waters, floating disc and rope skimmers are passed through the oil. The oil sticks to these skimmers and is scraped off later. Absorbent materials such as talcum powder, straw and sawdust can be added to the oil and removed when the oil has been soaked up. Next >

21 Break up Chemicals can be used to break up, or disperse large areas of oil, such as oil slicks, into millions of small globules of oil. These are more easily dispersed and carried out to sea than one large area of oil. Although modern dispersants are considered safe, certain habitats, such as coral reefs are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of these chemicals. In addition, dispersants tend to spread the effects of the oil spill out over many different ecosystems, possibly causing even more environmental damage. The environmental costs and benefits must be carefully assessed before chemical dispersants are used. Next >

22 Removal Often, through the tides and natural biodegradation, oil will be removed naturally from an aquatic environment. However, this can be slow. The process can be sped up in two ways (this is called bioremediation): Adding nutrients for the naturally occurring micro-organisms to feed on. Adding more microbes, for example, the bacterium, Pseudomonas. This is called seeding. Bioremediation can be used in place of chemical dispersal, particularly when chemical dispersants may do more harm than good, for example, near coral reefs. Next >

23 Removal Burning is now seldom used as a way of removing oil as it tends to spread pollution rather than removing it from the natural environment. Next >

24 Prevention Dealing with oil pollution can be very expensive for countries and corporations. Therefore, more money is being invested in the prevention of oil pollution. Safer tankers are being designed with double hulls and improved navigation communication systems. Governments and individuals can take responsibility for consuming less oil and for disposing of it more safely. Next >

25 Question 5 Why is it not always a good idea to use chemicals to disperse large oil spills? A) They act too slowly B) They can cause more harm to the environment C) They are difficult to apply D) They are too expensive

26 Question 6 Which of the following can the bacterium Pseudomonas be used for? A) Containment B) Recovery C) Break-up D) Removal

27 Summary After completing this presentation you should be able to:
Identify the main sources of oil pollution Investigate the damage that oil can cause to the environment Investigate the damage that oil can cause to wildlife Identify methods of cleaning up oil pollution Identify ways of preventing oil pollution End >

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