Effects of Oil in the Marine Environment

Effects of Oil in the Marine Environment

POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010 - 4:56pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 4:47pm

The environmental impacts of spilled oil can be severe. The damage caused by a spill depends on location, volume and type of oil spilled, weather conditions, season, and many other factors.

Large spills cause widespread immediate impacts, and potential long-term damage to parts of affected ecosystems. However, chronic discharges such as from street runoff and improper oil disposal are also damaging.

Cumulative chronic discharges far exceed major spills in volume. Cleanup operations remove some, but not all, oil from the environment; the oil that remains naturally degrades over time. Everyone can help reduce impacts of oil spills.

Immediately report oil or chemical spills (800-424-8802), properly recycle used motor oil, carefully fuel cars or boats, promptly repair leaks, and reduce your consumption.

As a voter and consumer, your opinion is valued by your elected officials and companies you patronize.