It’s a big day! It’s Earth Day, it’s Good Friday, its garbage day and recycling day (in my neighbourhood) and it’s also just passed the one year anniversary of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a lot to take in on one day. I’m not a religious person so Good Friday (every Friday is good to me) doesn’t see me in church but I would like to take a minute and look back on one of the worst environmental disasters of our time as well as look ahead to how we can better care for our earth.
One year ago was the beginning of when roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil blew out of BP’s broken well and bled into the water, with a portion of that crude making landfall along the coastline. Add in the unknown effect of 1.84 million gallons (7 million L) of chemical dispersants, much of which were applied directly to the well deep below the surface of the ocean – something that had never been done before. And yet, from the beaches along the Gulf coast here where I am in Florida, it’s almost as if it never happened. Dolphins and turtles and stingrays can be seen swimming near by. It’s hard to say what the real long term effect on the environment and wildlife will be after only one year but I’m quite amazed at how well it all seems to be mending. A few scientists from various universities in the US discovered that natural bacteria had helped with some of the cleanup. Apparently microbes had digested much of the oil and methane that remained in the water. Nature is so amazing!
Here is a little reminder of the devastation the oil spill had on the gulf.
Now let’s look ahead. It’s Earth Day and there are billions of ways people are making changes to be more green. This year, Earth Day’s theme is themed after A Billion Acts of Green: a people-powered campaign to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy.
What will you do to celebrate Earth day this year? I’m giving up the car and biking to wherever I need to go. Ok, so everything I need is a short bike ride away without hills, but it’s hot out and I need groceries so it is still a sacrifice. Every little bit helps.
I hope this day will mark the start of a very good year for our Earth. No more oil spills or damage of any kind.