Information about the Gulf oil spill has inundated the news for weeks now. Efforts to stop the massive amounts of oil from polluting our oceans, coastlines and wetlands have been met with more challenges than solutions. Pictures of oil soaked pelicans, ravaged beaches, negative impacts to sea turtles, dolphins, and other mammals, in addition to economic impacts of fishing being halted, slowed tourism, and the impending costs of clean up are just some of the copious issues that are a direct outcome of this catastrophe.
There is a lot of time, work, and money that will be needed to clean up this current environmental crisis. But for me, the bigger question is “How do we prevent this from happening again?” There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that prevention of such events as this would have been much cheaper than the costs we have seen to life, to the environment, and to the economy.
This is just one of the many potential environmental challenges that we may face in the years to come. What will happen if an oil pipeline across a major aquifer leaks? What about all the chemicals that we use every day? Will they end up in our water supply, kill species of animals, alter the circle of life?
We need to address these issues now before they become catastrophic accidents that leave us scrambling for answers. We are all in a position to make a difference, just by altering our own lifestyles and habits. In addition, we can pay attention to the potential risks in our communities and areas, become involved in the local decisions being made concerning our world, and most of all speak up and act upon behalf of our environment and our water resources. It’s been said before but bears repeating – We only have one Earth, one planet on which we can survive – we must be a part of protecting it for the future.
Share your thoughts on what needs to happen to prevent these types of environmental catastrophes in the future.