The oil drilling platform in this game, DeepWell 4, doesn’t actually exist - but the environmental impact of uncontrolled oil releases into our oceans and waterways is all too real. According to the US Department of Energy, approximately 1.3 million gallons of oil are spilled each year. This figure does not take into account major spills and accidents, which increases that number dramatically. The Deepwater Horizon spill took 87 days to seal, spilling 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest accidental oil spill in history.
Following the Deepwater Horizon, Gulf dolphins suffered from lung disease leading to a massive die-off. In the four years that followed, dolphin birth rates plunged from the normal 80% to just 20%. An estimated 167,000 sea turtles perished. Shrimp and coral populations were hard hit. Birds were fouled and unable to fly.
Wildlife recovery, cleaning, and rehabilitation are often an important part of oil spill response. However wildlife is difficult to find and catch, spills happen over wide areas, and some animals (like whales) are too big to recover. It is simply unrealistic to rescue all wildlife impacted during oil spills. And oil is only one of the challenges facing our oceans. It falls to us to be better stewards of our world, to hold companies accountable, and to create policies that protect our planet. To learn more about safeguarding our oceans and what you can do to help, visit Oceana.org.
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