Target: Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Goal: Hold BP responsible for the dolphin deaths and diseases that occurred, and continue to occur, because of its 2010 oil spill.
BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the petroleum industry’s largest accidental marine oil spill. An estimated 9 million barrels of oil, at a rate of about 53,000 barrels per day, escaped into the surrounding ocean before the oil well was capped. The escaped oil caused irrefutable damage to surrounding marine habitats. One species of animal clearly effected was the bottlenose dolphin. Not only were dolphin populations affected during and directly after the spill, but they continue to suffer to this day.
Sixty-seven bottlenose dolphins washed up on Gulf of Mexico beaches directly following the BP oil spill. Over half of those animals were babies. In an average year, normally only one or two baby dolphins wash up in this area.
Unfortunately, the damage doesn’t end there. Scientists reported that even a year after the conclusion of the BP spill, oil found on stranded dolphins was linked to the BP Gulf of Mexico spill. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since February of 2010 675 dolphins have been stranded. The average number of stranded dolphins per year is only 74. Dolphins are washing up with medical problems such as low weight, anemia, low blood sugar, and cancers of the liver and lungs.
Another health issue discovered in dolphins likely effected by the 2010 spill is abnormally low levels of stress hormones. These hormones normally work to regulate important bodily functions such as the response to threats and the immune system. Scientists believe that the abnormally low hormone levels may be caused by some form of adrenal insufficiency. Dolphins tested in areas not effected by the BP spill have so far not shown any similar symptoms, strongly suggesting that the issues were caused by exposure to oil. Oil exposure has also been scientifically shown to cause adrenal insufficiency in other mammals, such as minks.
By signing this petition, you are urging the NOAA to hold BP responsible for the deaths and diseases Gulf of Mexico bottlenose dolphins have had to suffer as a result of the BP oil spill. The damage is already done to the Gulf’s dolphin population, so all we can do now is look towards the future. BP, because it was the direct cause of these issues, should be forced to fund further research into the effects its oil is having on dolphins and other marine organisms and what can be done, if anything, to help reverse the damage.
Dear Jane Lubchenco,
This letter is to urge you to please hold BP responsible for the deaths and diseases that the Gulf of Mexico’s bottlenose dolphin populations have had to suffer since the 2010 oil spill. As you may well know, recent evidence is suggesting that the BP oil spill not only increased the number of annual dolphin deaths, but it also caused diseases that, to this day, are effecting the Gulf’s dolphins.
BP directly caused these tragic events and it should be held responsible. In the very least, BP should be forced to fund research to determine the effects its oil is having on dolphins and other marine organisms and what, if anything, can be done to help. Unfortunately, the damage to the dolphin population, as well as countless other animal populations, is already done. All we can do now is look towards the future. BP should be an active part of helping to improve that future.
[Your Name Here]