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15 Images Showing How Refugio Oil Spill Kills Lives

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15 Images Showing How Refugio Oil Spill Kills Lives

The catastrophic oil spill across the Gaviota Coast on Tuesday 19th of May 2015 saw a devastating 21,000 gallons of crude oil leak from a ruptured underground pipe. The oil spill has devastated the flora and fauna for 9 miles, causing insurmountable damage to this incredibly bio-diverse coastline.

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    A young sea lion lies dead and drenched in oil on the beach (Photo: Santa Barbara Channelkeeper)

    It is difficult to put an exact number on the amount of animals that have and will die as a result of the oil spill, because most of the damage is occurring underwater. The Gaviota coastline is host to a range of creatures, including pelicans, cormorants, grebes, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, bass, guitarfish, spiny lobsters, rock crabs, urchins, octopi, shrimp, mussels, sea hares, sponges, anemones, coral, and whole swaths of smaller sea life, the habitats of which are now irreparably damaged for years to come.

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      Plants and trees, which flourish along the Refugio coastline, suffer as crude oil leaks toxic chemicals into the earth (Picture: Paul Wellman)

      Estimates put the spill at approximately 21,000 gallons, but it is feared that up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil may have leaked into the ocean from the Plains All American Pipeline, covering nine miles of coastline, west of Refugio State Beach, with the viscous, carcinogenic liquid.

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        Crude oil is highly carcinogenic, containing many cancer-causing chemicals, including Benzene, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Formaldehyde, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and Hydrofluoric acid (Photo: Paul Wellman)

        Volunteers have turned out in their droves to assist with the cleanup effort, although health officials are advising the public to avoid affected areas. “Breathing oil fumes can cause headache, nausea, vomiting… and respiratory problems,” said Santa Barbara County Public Health Department spokesperson Susan Klein-Rothschild.

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          Crude oil, carried by the tides, can spread down the coast and deep into the earth, poisoning the atmosphere for years to come. (Photo: Paul Wellman)

          Breathing the fumes from crude oil are known to cause chemical pneumonia, irritation of the nose, throat, and lungs, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, fatigue, nausea, and labored breathing. Chronic exposure can result in irregular heartbeats, convulsions, and coma.

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            Oil is churned and shifted down the coast with the tide (Picture: Paul Wellman)

            Local fisheries have been closed down for fear that their produce could be contaminated with carcinogenic and toxic chemicals from crude oil.

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              An oil drenched crab crawls a short distance across the beach before dying (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

              The Gaviota coast is one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, boasting a diverse and vibrant range of creatures native to the area.

                Oil floods the beach, soaking the sand and rocks (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                The previously pristine Gaviota Coast, called “the Galapagos of North America,” is one of only five places on the planet where plants and animals of the North and the South meet.

                  A lobster, soaked in oil, lies dead in the sand (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                  Crude oil blackens the water, choking sea grass and other marine plants from much needed sunlight, and in turn preventing small marine animals from feeding.

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                    A lobster, soaked in oil, lies dead in the sand (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                    Crude oil seeps into and under rocks, soaks into the sand, sits on top of the water, and below it. It’s toxic fumes are carried by the wind, meaning there is almost no safe-zone for plants and animals.

                      The body of a Pelican, saturated with oil (Picture: Tamlorn Chase)

                      Even a small amount of oil can kill a bird. The oil globs their feathers together, which can prevent them from flying properly, restricting their ability to hunt. Their diet also consists mainly of fish, which are likely to contain toxins from the oil spill.

                        Oil spills down the beach towards the sea (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                        Oil has been found as far as 11 miles out from the shore.

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                          Oil seeps into the sand and rocks, killing wildlife and making the area inhospitable (Photo: Paul Wellman)

                          Oil is killing plankton in their droves, essential to the ecosystem of the Gaviota coast. This can effect everything from tide-pool fliter feeders, to endangered blue whales, migrating through the Santa Barbara Channel.

                            The waves are thick and black with oil, as a sheen 50-100 yards wide coats the coast in viscous oil (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                            Efforts are being made to transport kelp, eel grass and surf grass away from dangerous areas. Preserving the flora of the area is essential to ensuring the eventual restoration of the animals that live along the Gaviota coast, whose survival is dependent on flourishing greenery.

                              Cormorants, a common site along the Refugio coastline, emigrate north to avoid the oil-soaked beaches. (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                              The long term effects of the Refugio oil spill will have a devastating effect on the wildlife of the area. Restoration projects will have to go on for years in order to try to recover some of the damage.

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                                Crude oil spreads across 9 miles of coastline, killing fish and other wildlife and devastating their coastal habitats (Photo: Paul Wellman)

                                Featured photo credit: (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) via media.mnn.com

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                                Last Updated on December 2, 2021

                                The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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                                The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

                                Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

                                There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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                                Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

                                Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

                                Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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                                Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

                                1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
                                2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
                                3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
                                4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
                                5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

                                Now on to the checklist!

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                                Here is how your checklist should look

                                1. CAMPSITE GEAR

                                • Tent, poles, stakes
                                • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
                                • Extra tarp or canopy
                                • Sleeping bag for each camper
                                • Sleeping pad for each camper
                                • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
                                • Pillows
                                • Extra blankets
                                • Chairs
                                • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
                                • Lantern
                                • Lantern fuel or batteries

                                2.  KITCHEN

                                • Stove
                                • Fuel for stove
                                • Matches or lighter
                                • Pot
                                • French press or portable coffee maker
                                • Corkscrew
                                • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
                                • Food-storage containers
                                • Trash bags
                                • Cooler
                                • Ice
                                • Water bottles
                                • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
                                • Cups, mugs
                                • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
                                • Cutting board
                                • Foil
                                • soap
                                • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
                                • Paper towels
                                • Extra bin for washing dishes

                                3. CLOTHES

                                • Clothes for daytime
                                • Sleepwear
                                • Swimsuits
                                • Rainwear
                                • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
                                • Extra layers for warmth
                                • Gloves
                                • Hats

                                4. PERSONAL ITEMS

                                • Sunscreen
                                • Insect repellent
                                • First-aid kit
                                • Prescription medications
                                • Toothbrush, toiletries
                                • Soap

                                5. OTHER ITEMS

                                • Camera
                                • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
                                • Maps, area information

                                This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

                                Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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