What Happens After An Oil Spill?

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The world uses nearly countless amounts of oil every year in one form or another. The United States alone has been consuming a total of over 7 billion barrels of petroleum

products a year, or around 20 million barrels a day in recent times. This reliance on fossil fuels has its own host of long-term environmental problems,

but when you have an oil spill, you create another world of issues. Oil spills can happen for a variety of reasons, from careless mistakes or equipment breaking

down, to natural disasters like hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are thousands of oil

spills that occur in US waters every year. That said, most are relatively small compared to the big ones that make the news, often

spilling less than one barrel of oil. However, in the past 50 or so years, there have been over 44 oil spillseach over

10,000 barrels or 420,000 gallons of oilthat have impacted US waters. These spills have the potential to be very harmful to the environment, marine life, and

even humans. After a spill, since oil is less dense than water, it will typically float on the surface

of the water. It doesn't just stay there in some big glob, though.

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