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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.

Refugio oil spill 2
    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.

        Pic 4
          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 May 21, 2019

                                13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                1. Stress Eating

                                I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                2. Nail Biting

                                Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                5. Smoking

                                Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                Smoking risks

                                  6. Excessive Drinking

                                  All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                  • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                  • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                  • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                  • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                  • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                  If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                  If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                  7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                  Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                  If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                  A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                  “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                  And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                  While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                  Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                  Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                  8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                  There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                  In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                  Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                  Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                  9. Watching Too Much TV

                                  I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                  Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                  Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                  It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                  10. Being Late

                                  Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                  Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                  Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                  11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                  Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                  I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                  Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                  12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                  Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                  Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                  Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                  By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                  Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                  13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                  In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                  Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                  Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                  And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                  Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                  Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                  Reference

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