Skip to comments.After big 1979 spill, a stunning recovery
Posted on 06/17/2010 10:47:52 AM PDT by AT7Saluki
The oil was everywhere, long black sheets of it, 15 inches thick in some places. Even if you stepped in what looked like a clean patch of sand, it quickly and gooily puddled around your feet. And Wes Tunnell, as he surveyed the mess, had only one bleak thought: "Oh, my God, this is horrible! It's all gonna die!"
But it didn't. Thirty-one years since the worst oil spill in North American history blanketed 150 miles of Texas beach, tourists noisily splash in the surf and turtles drag themselves into the dunes to lay eggs.
"You look around, and it's like the spill never happened," shrugs Tunnell, a marine biologist. "There's a lot of perplexity in it for many of us."
For Tunnell and others involved in the fight to contain the June 3, 1979, spill from Mexico's Ixtoc 1 offshore well in the Gulf of Campeche, the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico conjures an eerie sense of déjà vu.
Like the BP spill, the Ixtoc disaster began with a burst of gas followed by an explosion and fire, followed by a relentless gush of oil that resisted all attempts to block it. Plugs of mud and debris, chemical dispersants, booms skimming the surface of the water: Mexico's Pemex oil company tried them all, but still the spill inexorably crept ashore, first in southeast Mexico, later in Texas.
But if the BP spill seems to be repeating one truth already demonstrated in the Ixtoc spill - that human technology is no match for a high-pressure undersea oil blowout - scientists are hoping that it may eventually confirm another: that the environment has a stunning capacity to heal itself from manmade insults.
Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/06/13/530250/after-big-1979-spill-a-stunning.html#storylink=misearch#ixzz0r8LixHLV
(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...
Thanks for the post.
hopeful and informative.
Articles like this keep me grounded.
It’s the same as forest fires. The Earth will always replenish itself after a disaster.
I have been to Prince William Sound in Alaska and toured the area by boat.
You cannot see any signs that an oil-spill took place.
walk on the beaches and lift some rocks.
You will see it then.
The Earth is not fragile.
BTTT. Thanks for the post.
The damage done by detergents and steam-cleaning - not oil - to that place was terrible. There are still sterile patches.
But the ‘control’ beach they just left to itself has done really well.
An oil spill isn't all that much different than a devastating forest fire, when you think about it.
Very interesting. This may be one reason why a friend of mine in the logging business tells me that they don’t re-plant trees where he works. They simply clear-cut an area, strip the limbs off the pine trees right there, and leave the branches and pine cones behind to re-seed the area naturally.
Crude oil is all natural and biodegradable.
Post 11: interesting! And hopeful.
True. It’s no accident that there are bacteria that can live off crude oil.
After only 31 years!
Makes me think of Mt. St. Helens. It was completely desolate after the big explosion. But now a lot of plants have re-started.
To me it’s a theology lesson. God’s life-giving love breaks through wherever and whenever it possibly can.
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