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Worry Underwater: Oxygen Levels Drop as Oil Continues to Flow


Worry Underwater: Oxygen Levels Drop as Oil Continues to Flow
Marine Animals Crowd Shallow Gulf Waters as Worries Over Oxygen Levels Grow
By Matt Gutman and Sadie Bass | ABC News

Biologists told ABC News that the entire food chain had been disrupted -- partly from the mass of oil and partly because the oil has sapped the water of oxygen. "What we're really witnessing may be a shift in the whole ecosystem feeding structure, the food web," said Bob Shipp, director of marine biology at the University of Southern Alabama. "It also may be altered permanently -- as we've seen in other parts of the world where these things happen." The oil spill has disturbed plant life too. Algae cannot survive if there isn't enough oxygen in the water, and a loss of algae could damage the ecosystem and the fisheries that rely on marine life.

Evidence of marine biologists' doomsday scenario thrashes in the Gulf waters as sharks crowd into shallow waters.

Marine biologists say the sea animals flee the spill zone the way others would flee a forest fire. With thousands of gallons of oil contaminating their natural habitats, marine creatures press into oil-free waters.

"Their habitat is shrinking, tens of thousands of square miles are affected, and animals moving away from them," said Mobi Salangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. "There are changes in food, the food they eat and their prey."

Plumes of dense oil in shallow waters, up to 50 feet below the surface, have sucked up oxygen. Tests by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab usually show oxygen levels in the shallow waters at nearly eight parts per million. They're now down to two parts per million -- four times lower than normal. Read more.

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Dr. Seuss - quote, Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky was my big empty factory... the Lorax... and I. The Lorax said nothing just gave me a glance. Just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance. He lifted himself by the seat of his pants and i'll never forget the grim look on his face as he hoisted himself and took leave of this place through a hole in the smog without leaving a trace and all that the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks with one word. UNLESS

Dr. Seuss - quote, "This", cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour! The time for all Whos who have blood that is red To come to the aid of their country!", he said. "We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"

But what about the hay technique? A video about this was posted at After Downing Street around a month or so ago. Spreading huge amounts of hay on the Gulf or parts of it where there's the most oil would evidently help to collect a lot of oil and then the oil-soaked hay could be scooped up and treated however it should be treated.

Hay wouldn't cost much and every method that would work for removing the oil should be used; the most environmentally safe methods first and foremost.

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