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15 Images Showing How Refugio Oil Spill Kills Lives

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.

    Refugio Oil Spill 3
      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.

                                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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                                JC Axe

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                                Last Updated on March 24, 2021

                                8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

                                8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

                                We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

                                On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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                                Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

                                1. Smart Door Locks

                                A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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                                2. Smart Kitchen Tools

                                Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

                                3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

                                If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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                                4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

                                These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

                                5. Nest Thermostat

                                This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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                                6. Smart Lighting

                                Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

                                7. Google Chromecast Ultra

                                Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

                                8. Canary

                                This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

                                Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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